Big Data and Machine Learning are pushing the limits of prediction

“Researchers may still fall far short of predicting outcomes with the precision that policy-makers long for,” they write, “but the scenarios that they now can envision should help shape a better future.”

The thing about Big Data, is that…well…it’s big. So big, in fact, that data mining has become a career for some people. You’ve probably heard the breakdown: Big Data is worthless by itself – Data Mining finds the patterns and turns them into a useful insight. This month’s Science magazine delves into the potential of mining social media to assist policy-makers and gain a far more accurate picture of opinions than traditional polling.

Personally I’m excited about predicting human behaviour, particularly when it comes to predicting armed conflict and scientific discovery. With these in mind we are talking about something which can change the world… for good or for bad, that remains to be seen, but for now, let’s revel in where technology has brought us.

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