Using Data, Can We Predict Everything?
The information revolution has created more data than ever before. By crunching that data, scientists want to predict crime trends, the spread of disease, market behavior and more.
What's the Latest Development?
Science, government and private enterprise are asking if they can predict future events by creatively crunching massive amounts of data made available by you, the individual. As people post more and more information online, computers are getting better at extracting and analyzing data to predict crime rates, stock market fluctuations, the spread of disease, political elections, revolutions and more. Professor Johan Bollen, who developed a method of using Twitter to predict market changes, describes the information revolution as 'a gold rush'.
What's the Big Idea?
Whether consulting the Oracle at Delphi or a stale fortune cookie, predicting the future is one of our oldest desires (until, perhaps, we see what awaits us). Whether it's the economy or a national election, recent studies have shown that our time's most trusted soothsayer, the expert, rarely outperforms those making uneducated guesses: a dart-throwing monkey, for example. So can large-scale data analysis remove human error from prediction? Will governments and CEO be willing to accept the responsibility that accompanies knowing what's to come.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.