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Researchers Mine Old News To Predict Future Events

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the what's-old-is-new dept.

Microsoft 99

hypnosec writes "Microsoft Research has teamed up with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to develop software that can predict events like outbreaks of disease or violence by mining data from old news and the web. The project, if successful, will result into a tool that would provide information that is more than just educated guesses or intuition. The team consisting of Eric Horvitz from Microsoft Research and Kira Radinsky from Technion-Israel Institute tested the program with articles from New York Times spanning over 20 years from 1986-2007."

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99 comments

Past performance... (4, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781169)

... is Not Necessarily Indicative of Future Results.

Do these guys not even read their own prospectus?

Re:Past performance... (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781355)

True, though it can to the extent that there are recurring patterns and you find the right ones.

On the other hand, there's also a circularity problem. Say you find, from analyzing 20 years of correlations, that certain events tend to happen some period after certain news reports. This might impact whether that relationship continues to hold in the future. That's already quite common for financial events: if you can reliably predict that when News Report Type X happens (for a possibly complex "X"), then Stock Move Y will happen, you can profit from it, but only until it becomes known by enough people, after which the arbitrage opportunity will close.

Re:Past performance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781439)

True, though it can to the extent that there are recurring patterns

You mean patterns like:

Embrace
Extend
Extinguish
?

Re:Past performance... (0)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781885)

or a pattern such as:
Feudalism-->Capitalism-->Socialism-->Communism-->Collapse-->Feudalism-->

Our hubris prevents us from realizing we're prone to the same problems that cause the issues in the previous cycle so we're doomed to repeat it. I say this as America thinks moving to a more socialist society means prosperrity...we forget about the "...some animals are more equal than others" clause.

Re:Past performance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783935)

No, actually our hubris leads us to think we can predict the future based on the past, when in fact most important events are usually completely unpredictable (part of the reason they are important) and come as a shock to everyone who experiences them, no matter what they decide after the event.

See Nassim Tableb's works for more on this.

One Useful Prediction ... (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784245)

I hope that the collaboration can focus in one aspect of old news ... ... even if it is not accurate ... even if Past Events Are Not Necessarily Indicative Of Future Results

What I hope they will focus in is the possibility of violence caused by religion - no matter which religion, no matter how religion is defined

I'm sure it will do mankind a lot of good ...

Re:One Useful Prediction ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42784865)

I am utterly sick and tired of this refrain, "Religion causes all of our problems!"

How about you get past the collegiate level thinking and realize that violence is part of the human condition. We are the most successful predators the planet has ever known. Religion is simply a very successful social construct which makes it a good vehicle to channel our violence. When religion is not positioned to be used conveniently, some other social construct is used such as patriotism.

Re:One Useful Prediction ... (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792415)

I do agree with you that violence is indeed an innate part of human beings.

What I need to stress is, religion (and patriotism, and all other "ism" that unify a certain portion of the human society) does channel and amplify that innate violence deep within each of us and tip it over the critical mass.

Re:Past performance... (1)

An dochasac (591582) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783751)

On a microscopic level (one person, one company, one country's economy...) the SNR is pretty bad. But it would be interesting to see whether the data fits patterns long noticed by civilizations. The Chinese "Wealth never survives three generations" and similar have a grain of truth. The causes and effects of prosperity are predictable:
  • Hard work and careful use of resources leads to wealth in the grandfather's generation
  • This wealth is handed down to the next generation who enjoy comfort without the hard work.
  • By the third generation, the wealth is gone. Grandchildren face poverty and war unless they paid more attention to their grandparent's wisdom than their parent's examples.

It may be a coincidence that the excess which led to this Great Recession came only after the memories of the Great Depression faded as those who came of age during that time died or were no longer listened to.

Re:Past performance... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784023)

"By the third generation, the wealth is gone."

Yeah? Tell that to the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers.

But seriously, this whole thing reminds me of Asimov's Foundation series.

Re:Past performance... (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about a year and a half ago | (#42787849)

Reminds me of the Person of Interest machine.

Re:Past performance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781413)

Past performance.

It's Microsoft. What else do they have apart from old news and blatant copying? Apple even had to trademark their store design to stop the MS imitations!

Re:Past performance... (1)

mug funky (910186) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781993)

yes, because Microsoft built all those fake Apple stores in China.

Re:Past performance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42782353)

You really think those Chinese guys will pay any attention to the US trademark?

It was Apple telling MS to mack off, pure and simple.

Re:Past performance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781475)

What are you even trying to say?

The phrase is "past performance is no guarantee of future results" is a disclaimer added by lawyers to prevent stockholders from suing brokers, exchanges and publicly traded companies. Erik Horvitz is a researcher.

Second, it's absurd to claim that past performance and historical context (i.e., "old news") have no predictive value. If that were the case, markets would be completely random and all stocks would be equally valuable.

Your comment doesn't make any sense.

Re:Past performance... (3, Informative)

mug funky (910186) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781999)

jokes typically place consistency with reality a little further down in the list of priorities than whatever you were expecting as a first post.

Re:Past performance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42784697)

What are you even trying to say?

Woosh?

Re:Past performance... (1)

phrostie (121428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781525)

maybe they should read more Asimov as well.
there was a second Foundation who's job it was to make sure the predictions came true.

Re:Past performance... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783509)

And even the second foundation failed to do so when the Mule came.

Re:Past performance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781671)

Sounds like the Farmers Almanac to me.

Re:Past performance... (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781683)

Well , as long as we're not predicting global warming, the superbowl or any of the other myriad of things out there that require far more criteria than is (mis)represented by news media. My main concern is the level of propaganda printed over the timeframe covering everything from politics to commerce to science and even religion that
get the "ol' quicky newsclown one sided, one eyed coverage" by personnel biased and unfit to cover grandmothers tea party, let alone add criteria to digital clarvoyance. Their minds as laymen can hardly apprehend the complexity needed to cover "what actually happened" in unbiased scientific terms, let alone the ability to communicate it in the framework of a 250 word article, assuming they got the facts to begin with.(in spite of the promise of verifiable facts that disappear in a puff of reality when others make new findings).
Then the cynic in me sees the word Microsoft and I lose all faith.

Re:Past performance... (1)

foobsr (693224) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782037)

unbiased scientific terms

Dark matter theory vs. MOND - who is owned by the bias?

CC.

So Microsoft is inventing Psychohistory. (1)

DirtyLiar (796951) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784331)

I just want to know when Hari Seldon [wikipedia.org] joined Microsoft?

Re:Past performance... (1)

Dabido (802599) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805609)

Read Didier Sornette's http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=sornette&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FDidier_Sornette&ei=W-0RUfisEMmUiAesz4DgCQ&usg=AFQjCNFfRpV9pxxFO-xtIOYzfYFJ4k7PNw&sig2=1uKuO63XsPwMBFg9D_kl9Q&bvm=bv.41934586,d.aGc [google.com.au] work into predicting the stock exchange (he started out by predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). I'm sure his work would be excellent in this field too. Sure, past events do not predict future events, but past patterns that lead to catastrophic events reoccur just before the event, making it predictable within a certain range of time.

For example, did you know... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781171)

There will be a Presidential election in 2016 and 2020

An NFL team will win the Super Bowl.

Many new TV shows will be cancelled each fall.

Old people will die.

Re:For example, did you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783531)

...and the year of the Linux desktop is predicted to happen within the next five years...

Re:For example, did you know... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783865)

More nightly reports of murders and burglaries may be increasing your city's crime rates.

Viewers who are asked teasing questions about the weather makes them more likely to keep watching until the end of the news.

You can predict a candidate's election success by how much air time is spent on them during the evening news.

What could be lurking under you kitchen sink that might kill you, won't do so until after a word from our sponcers.

The Government has a secret weapon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781201)

A "machine".

Re: The Government has a secret weapon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783009)

Is it watching me?

The Observer from NZ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781237)

Cliff has been doing this for years. The most interesting aspect is that there is weighting given to emotional "charge".
http://www.halfpasthuman.com/

War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781241)

War never changes.

Re:War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783799)

Yeah, but what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

Consider.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781261)

that we yet cant predict the weather.

Re:Consider.. (5, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781395)

Actually, the weather report for the next day is pretty accurate most of the time.

Re:Consider.. (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783725)

That's like predicting that a waiter will bring the food you ordered.

Re:Consider.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42785541)

Did you order today's weather yesterday?

Asimov was here (5, Insightful)

Minion of Eris (1574569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781275)

The shade of Asimov raises his head..... Does this seem a little like Psychohistory to anyone else? Where's the Mule?

Re:Asimov was here (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781375)

The shade of Asimov raises his head..... Does this seem a little like Psychohistory to anyone else? Where's the Mule?

More importantly, which is the empire that will break down?

Re:Asimov was here (1)

foobsr (693224) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781537)

which is the empire that will break down

Easy, the US - mind that it probably takes a century.

CC.

Re:Asimov was here (1)

MrLizard (95131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781535)

OK, good, someone beat me to it. I'd be disappointed otherwise.

Re:Asimov was here (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781585)

More important than the mythical Mule (unless telepathy really exists and to that extent), the important message in Asimov's Psychohistory is that predicted people shouldnt be aware of the predictions on them, and that includes the government. Is a good way to invalidate predictions, acting with the knowledge of the prediction instead of acting "naturally", whatever be it.

Re:Asimov was here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781795)

predicted people shouldnt be aware of the predictions on them, and that includes the government. Is a good way to invalidate predictions, acting with the knowledge of the prediction instead of acting "naturally", whatever be it.

This only applies to a limited set of predictions.
In general it leads to approximately the same kind of feedback oscillations that time-travel does.
There will be plenty of predictions that are self-stabilizing. For example any prediction that is beneficial for everyone who have the ability to change the outcome will come true. The traditional self-fulfilling prophecies will also remain stable. (A prediction of wide-spread panic can cause wide-spread panic.)

Re:Asimov was here (1)

mug funky (910186) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782051)

well known by stock market types. which makes me wonder what the purpose of financial reporting is.

Pythia was here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781331)

"All this has happened before. All this will happen again."

Queue the ... (1)

the_rajah (749499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781363)

Minority Report references in 3..2..1

Re:Queue the ... (2)

phrostie (121428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781555)

would you consider a Douglas Adams?

“Anything that happens, happens.
Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.
Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.
It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order, though.”

Re:Queue the ... (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782721)

See Sig

Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events. - Albert Einstein (For AC's)

Re:Queue the ... (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783537)

(For AC's)

And for future readers finding your post long after you've changed your signature to something completely different.

Nobody should ever refer to sigs (not their own, and certainly not other people's) without quoting them.

Re:Queue the ... (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783675)

fair enough.

This has all happened before... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781383)

...and will happen again.

Hey that makes a pretty good tag line...someone should make a scifi tv series based on that concept. Maybe two even!

Re:This has all happened before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781415)

The problem with capitalism is that eventually you run out of resources to feed continuous growth.

Re:This has all happened before... (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782737)

The problem with government is they are all bad.

Re:This has all happened before... (1)

fan777 (932195) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782893)

I agree but then.. there is very little human achievement without a stable government.

Re:This has all happened before... (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783073)

Ok, that is fair. I guess we probably (we humans) didn't fair to well when it was animal rules. I in no way have some answer.

Re:This has all happened before... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781583)

Already done in Battlestar Galatica

"All this has happened before, and all this will happen again"

Re:This has all happened before... (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781763)

Almost makes you think that was the joke. But only almost, apparently.

They r the 1s causing violence & disease w lab (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781389)

They are the ones causing the violence and desiese by letting the third world in and lowering the wage base and taxes for profit

Re:They r the 1s causing violence & disease w (1)

mug funky (910186) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782055)

care to elucidate further on that thought?

Science! (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781397)

Discovers experience.

Re:Science! (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782747)

Did they hit level 2 off a sewer rat?

garbage in, garbage out (1)

ne0n (884282) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781437)

Is this the softwar that comes up with republicrat propaganda?

Here, Let Me Save Them Some Time (4, Informative)

Nova Express (100383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781495)

Unrest in Middle East
African Regime Unstable, May Collapse
Congressman Indicted
Experts Say Hurricane "Extremely Dangerous"
Audit Finds Serious Misuse of Funds
Green Energy Firm Declares Bankruptcy
Apple's Latest Product Selling Like Hotcakes
Patch Released for Serious Windows Vulnerability
Unemployment Rises, Unexpectedly

There's your headlines for the year.

Re:Here, Let Me Save Them Some Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781587)

+1 for truth on lines 1, 3, 7.

Re:Here, Let Me Save Them Some Time (2)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783729)

You forgot: "It will snow in winter." At least here in Europe it is a serious, unpredictable problem which surprises the people every year.

Re:Here, Let Me Save Them Some Time (1)

vaguestalker (1685122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784261)

There seems to be some kind of collective ability to predict the future based on linguistics. This guy has been doing it for more than a decade. http://halfpasthuman.com/altaprocess.html [halfpasthuman.com] He has some major hits, and I enjoy following him as a hobby, though you could say I'm agnostic on the matter.

Re:Here, Let Me Save Them Some Time (1)

surd1618 (1878068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42785057)

I am super-serious about evidence-based reasoning, atheism, and accepting painful truths, but sometimes I get weird feelings about time and consciousness.
A week ago I put on Buffalo 66 for someone, and this person said, "Blue Bird," out loud when a frame of the movie showed a Blue Bird brand bus. Then he asked me about this brand, and I honestly said I had no idea, never noticed the name before. The following night, very late, I walked by a normally vacant street, and there was another BB, idling, full of old people. Strange, I thought, noticing the big logo. Then, the name caught my eye again somewhere, in a photo I think, yesterday. Then, last night, a young friend of mine called me. He wants me to drive him to a rural town about an hour away so that he can buy a friggin' Blue Bird bus that I will drive back for him.
I am sure that this isn't a pattern resolving in hindsight. I had a feeling about it ever since Buffalo 66. But, what is it? Is it really possible that my observations are objective?
If anyone told me this story, I would tell them they dreamed it up in retrospect, but I am completely sure I didn't.

Re:Here, Let Me Save Them Some Time (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42788817)

You forgot "Lance Armstrong movie set to break previous sales record", and "Windows 9 releases classical desktop edition earlier than expected".

Welcome... (1)

The_Star_Child (2660919) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781721)

...to the land of tomorrow!

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781787)

Are so exciting!!!

Its taken them this long? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781819)

Its taken them this long to realize that the past and the future are very strongly correlated and that those in power haven't learned from their own mistakes? I mean, every war that the US has gone to since WWII has been played out multiple times in history, economies run on the same basic patterns, etc.

Slashdot! (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781949)

What better place for mining old news?

Eureka! We've struck gold!

Disease outbreaks? (2)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782009)

You mean by looking at twenty years of newspaper articles they were able to predict that there will be a large increase in the number of cases of influenza during November 2013 to March 2014 compared to the preceding 5 months?

Or, when disaster causes infrastructure to break down and crowds refugees into unsanitary temporary housing there's a high likelyhood of more cholera breaking out than at other times?

Gee. Color me impressed.

How is this greatly different than many different types of analysts have been doing for decades via headline counts in world newspapers and the like? (See John Naisbitt of Megatrends fame, for example. And he certainly wasn't the first.)

The math used to find the probabilities may be a bit better, and it may be more automated, but it's not particularly new.

That's why we study history (or used to) (1)

Captain Sensible (141639) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782013)

Yes, i'm sure this audience will always quote that old hack Asimov but perhaps Mark Twain is better - "history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme". Humans respond to much the same situations in much the same way - emphasis on 'much', because there are always differences of culture, place and circumstance.

That is why we study history - to guide us in our own decisions. Do some research on Heine and Neitzche and the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrance which ponts to recurring patterns of human behaviour, not for metaphysical reasons but because of human psychology, economics, geography all joined in chains of causality.

A cheaper way of doing this would be to have a talk with any professor of history. Some can actually impart information clearly when they are not writing academic papers. Of course governments don't always like what they hear because it often shows that their short-term agenda will lead to long-term failure.

But tell me please - this baby boomer asks why do so few gen X and Ys show any interest in history? Yes, i know it's boring in school, but so are most things. Why is there so little interest in the past/ Have you not learnt that other people's past is your future?

Re:That's why we study history (or used to) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42782187)

Because the history taught in school was largely written by egocentric victors without a clue?

History is amazing, but to truly benefit from it, you need to seek out those authors who are marginalized exactly because they're willing to do their jobs without bowing to academic momentum/bias.

Currently reading, "The Horns of Moses".

Look it up.

Re:That's why we study history (or used to) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42782215)

Sorry. "Comets and the Horns of Moses."

Re:That's why we study history (or used to) (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42782375)

But tell me please - this baby boomer asks why do so few gen X and Ys show any interest in history?

Because the Founding Fathers were Christian through and through; the Civil War was about slavery and nothing else; and we're the chosen people, spreaders of truth and justice and democracy, having never committed wholesale genocide or locked up our own citizens in concentration camps.

Also, they hate us for our freedumbs.

Seriously, though, most history teachers bore kids to death by doing little more than demanding they memorize places, names and dates. While some of them are shitheads who get off on this sort of trivial idiocy, a great many probably suffer from having their hands tied by our lackluster schools.

God forbid a history teacher informs his class about how many bitches Ben Franklin got.

Dude got mad bitches, by the way.

tl;dr: When you hear factoids instead of interesting stories about historical figures, said historic figures seem fake; unreal; and people end up with a sense that we're completely different than the humans who lived even a hundred years ago, despite the fact that we're no different than the humans alive at the time of the Roman Empire and earlier.

Re:That's why we study history (or used to) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42782969)

Because those that do not study History are doomed to repeat it.

Re:That's why we study history (or used to) (1)

andrewbaldwin (442273) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783745)

this baby boomer asks why do so few gen X and Ys show any interest in history?

...probably because there are few jobs where history is of direct relevance and practical usage.

If you're investing a considerable sum in money and precious years of your youth then getting a real payback is a valid target; not everyone is rich enough to be able to dedicate resources to indulge in "intellectual masturbation".

This isn't to decry history, or to deny that many find it interesting - just one potential explanation on the basis of pragmatic rationalism / utilitarianism.

Will it predict the future, or media cycles? (2)

dorpus (636554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782091)

I have two family members in the journalism business. The media business has a cycle of covering particular topics and moving on when the public gets bored of it. Plenty of news does not get coverage at all, at least by English language media, if the country is too remote or the topic is too cliche.

Re:Will it predict the future, or media cycles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783219)

... media business has a cycle of covering particular topics ...

Two reasons, bureaucrats like to re-invent themselves and 'modernize' every ten years, forcing change and giving people something to talk about.

Also, there is a new crop of adults every ten years to whine about teen pregnancy, the latest war, accident statistics, corporate greed, political dishonesty and so on.

TL, DR: People stay as stupid, shallow, lazy, selfish, horny as they always were.

Re:Will it predict the future, or media cycles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783903)

Yes nobody is interested in black violence these days

Only as good as the source material (2)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782093)

The NYT? For only the last 20 years? That's worse that basing global warming predictions on just the last 20 years.

Wise after the fact (1)

Pale Dot (2813911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783611)

Newspapers focus on big events not gradual changes. So a study like this is going to miss non-events until there are enough natural disasters to report a definite trend. But it will always be easy to be wise after the fact by selecting keywords related to the event you want to trace historically and thus prove your method could have predicted the present.

Re:Wise after the fact (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42785683)

That assumes that the paper is reporting everything. Not only is it physically impossible for papers to do so but editorial policy will emphasize one type of story and demphasize or completely ignore another. In addition, does this prediction system take into account the location and size of story? What shows up on page one above the fold in one paper (with one editorial viewpoint) may only appear several pages down in another and the number of words can also be vastly different. A paper could easily churn out a dozen followup stories to the original minor event in order to keep it fresh in their readers' minds. And then there's the tone of the writing. Does the algorithm attempt to evaluate tone for speculative or inflammatory language? People who pass themselves off as objective journalists notoriously pepper their writing with speculation knowing full well that their readers are likely to morph that into truth.

All of this said, perhaps there's indirect truth to the algorithm. Repeat a lie long enough and it becomes the truth. The media has long had the ability to create its own reality or at least they attempt to do so. Taking statements and events out of context or even blatant editing of audio transcripts can change a person's fate. The longer such actions go unchallenged, the more likely what really happened is dismissed.

Re:Only as good as the source material (1)

DirtyLiar (796951) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784291)

I think we're a little more short-term than climate change.

Re:Only as good as the source material (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42785717)

Hardly. Back in the 80s and early 90s, nobody ever heard of global warming. In fact, during the 70s, there was a lot of ginned up hand-wringing about another ice age.

Re:Only as good as the source material (1)

DirtyLiar (796951) | about a year and a half ago | (#42830529)

Hardly. Back in the 80s and early 90s, nobody ever heard of global warming.

Public recognition, regardless of what any ad agency may tell you to the contrary, does not regulate reality.

In fact, during the 70s, there was a lot of ginned up hand-wringing about another ice age.

No. There was ONE article about it in (I believe) Time Magazine.

Well this is odd. (1)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782229)

Reminds me of the movie "Paycheck" but other than that it has been pointed out to me by a financial adviser that FDR converted this country from a republic to a democracy as the people gave him credit for bringing the US out of the great depression. Only it wasn't the government but the oil industry. This is the history part. The future part is strongly suggesting Obama is going to convert this country from a democracy to Socialism and he too will take credit for turning the economy around, and again it won't be the government but the Natural Gas Industry when the exporting of Liquid Natural Gas begins in 2015.

There is a lot of small pieces of this that seem to be supporting the high probability of this happening. Large ammo purchases for DHS and IRS and the distribution of such across the US. Detention camps, triple decker prisoner train cars, military helicopter training in major cities, effort to change bill of rights, including the second and 4th amendments, and more such as Obama violating constitution and blaming the founders of this country for the changes he wants to make....

Of course we'll have to wait to see if this all plays out but apparently many are not waiting as there is a public run on guns and ammo....
But then again, the article research probably doesn't going into this given who is behind it.

Re:Well this is odd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783255)

The Mole People!

Forecasting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42782297)

So basically they're using the same technique used to forecast the weather. I'm sure it will be every bit as inaccurate and only useful in extreme cases.

Can't wait for this: "the forecast for next week, we'll have a 20% chance of riots, with a 10% chance of terrorist activity in Turkey, and we're expecting scattered protests throughout the region and down into North Africa, so if you're stepping out Wednesday through Friday, bring your pepper spray and protective mask, because it's going to be a gassy one out there folks..."

nig6a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42782337)

of a so7id dose hype - BSD's

The end of Windows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783261)

Does it predict the date when Windows will die?

Re:The end of Windows (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783373)

I believe, the result was "Five months before Palestinian State will be established with stable borders and elected government".

Microsoft Research is best ignored (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783437)

There is nothing Microsoft Research ever will discover that will ever be of use to the rest of us in general. They research for Microsoft, not for us, and almost all of their output is ignored even by Microsoft. When it's a product then look at it in terms of whether it's useful to you despite the completely unnecessary but mandatory IE/DirectX interface. It probably won't even be worth loading up Windows in a VM to have IE to try it out with.

Buuuuut (1)

Alejandro Garza (2832319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783883)

But, isn't Zapaday.com already doing that?

Researchers discover Time Machine, Predict Future (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783933)

Made mostly of cellulose, and some of the most expensive fluids known to mankind, this newly discovered vessel is capable of transmitting information from past to present and can acurately predict many future events.

Scientists dub "Calendar" as discovery the year.

Future? (1)

DirtyLiar (796951) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784283)

Isn't this a job for the Time Bandets?

Machiavelli's theory (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42788769)

Was that nothing had essentially changed from the beginning of man, so you could scientifically use Greek or Roman battles to navigate the contemporary wars with Pisa and Cesare Borgia.

Usually, though, such an enterprise would only be fruitful after the event (e.g. no scientific predictions) on account of Fortuna. Notably, Machiavelli died bitter and beaten.

Point of this is that you cannot predict the future; perhaps at best a possible outcome with some better chance than other counterfactual scenarios, which everyone will say was completely obvious after the fact.

GIGO (1)

cwsumner (1303261) | about a year and a half ago | (#42789939)

"Garbage in, Garbage out".

But, it's probably worth a try...

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