Description: What if the government could know the future?
It’s trying. Armed with billions of tweets, Google (GOOG) searches, Facebook (FB) posts, and other publicly available social-media and online data, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is sponsoring research projects involving 14 universities in the United States, Europe, and Israel with the goal of using advanced analytics to predict significant societal events.
Date: Feb 5, 2013
This is an ambitious goal. Even nerd savant Nate Silver has yet to predict the likeliness of a popular revolt toppling a government, a deadly disease outbreak, a sudden currency collapse, or war. Still, the recent explosion in data analytics ushered in by the social-media era holds huge promise for making increasingly accurate predictions about the future, says Thomas Malone, director of the Center for Collective Intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of The Future of Work. But, he cautions, “it’s not magic. There are a lot of things about the future that are essentially unknowable.”
Matheny, too, understands the limitations of predictive analytics. That’s part of the point. At the end of the government’s three-year research program, he says, they hope to know with more certainty just what is predictable—that is, what categories of events are relatively more knowable. Read Rest of Story
Questions for discussion:
1. Are there dangers to our society as the result of various uses of Big Data? Why or Why Not
2. what are some positive opportunities for the use of Big Data?