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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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You CAN Predict the Future, and Influence It Too

February 13, 2014, 12:00 AM
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We are better than ever at making predictions - whether you’re going to click, lie, buy or die, as Eric Siegel puts it.

In a lesson on Big Think Edge, the only forum on YouTube designed to help you get the skills you need to be successful in a rapidly changing world, Siegel, a former professor at Columbia University, shows how predictive analytics is "powered by the world's most potent, booming unnatural resource: data."

You have been predicted — by companies, governments, law enforcement, hospitals, and universities. Their computers say, "I knew you were going to do that!" 

Netflix and Pandora predict the movies and music you will like. Online dating sites select possible matches for you based on your interests. Companies can predict whether you’re going to default on your credit card statements and whether you’re going to commit an act of fraud.

So what do governments and companies do with this gold mine? In the video below, Siegel tells Big Think that these entities not only have the power to predict the future "but also to influence the future."  And so can you. 

Sign up for a free trial subscription on Big Think Edge and watch Siegel's lesson here:

Reflection Questions 
-- Describe how your company is using predictive analytics to influence any operational decisions? Do you analyze who is likely to respond before initiating a marketing campaign? If not, how could this help streamline operations in your department? 

-- How are predictive analytics at work in your life? Do you use Netflix or Pandora to predict movies or music you will like? Have you used an online dating site that selects possible matches for you based on your interests? How has this worked out for you?

-- Is the use of predictive analysis exposing people to other people, entertainment, or services that more accurately match their interests or is it pigeonholing people by suggesting things they may like based only on a limited amount of information on previous decisions they've made?
For expert video content to inspire, engage and motivate your employees, visit Big Think Edge

Watch the video below and sign up for your free trial to Big Think Edge today. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

You CAN Predict the Future,...

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