November 10, 2012

When Machines Know Our Future

Tom Chatfield, BBC News


AP Photo

One of my favourite Isaac Asmiov stories, Franchise, imagines an election in which computing is sufficiently advanced for the preferences of an entire country to be predicted on the basis of just one voter’s actions. We’re not quite at that stage yet. But we may be on the right path. For perhaps the greatest geek triumph of the 2012 presidential elections was the unlikely figure of statistician Nate Silver, whose FiveThirtyEight blog – which algorithmically assessed hundreds of polls based on their historical accuracy – managed to successfully predict the result in 50 out of 50 states.

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TAGGED: computers

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