View Full Version : Supercomputer predicts world events

September 9th, 2011, 11:20 PM

A study, based on millions of articles, charted deteriorating national sentiment ahead of the recent revolutions in Libya and Egypt.
While the analysis was carried out retrospectively, scientists say the same processes could be used to anticipate upcoming conflict.
The system also picked up early clues about Osama Bin Laden's location.
Kalev Leetaru, from the University of Illinois' Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Science, presented his findings (http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3663/3040) in the journal First Monday.

The study's information was taken from a range of sources including the US government-run Open Source Centre (https://www.opensource.gov/public/content/login/login.fcc?TYPE=33554433&REALMOID=06-ee663d18-3fd5-1009-806c-8348feff0cb3&GUID=&SMAUTHREASON=0&METHOD=GET&SMAGENTNAME=webdmz&TARGET=-SM-http%3a%2f%2fwww%2eopensource%2egov%2flogin%2findex%2ehtml), and the Summary of World Broadcasts (now known as BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk/)), both of which monitor local media output around the world.
News outlets which published online versions were also analysed, as was the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/)' archive, going back to 1945.
In total, Mr Leetaru gathered more than 100 million articles.
Reports were analysed for two main types of information: mood - whether the article represented good news or bad news, and location - where events were happening and the location of other participants in the story.
The Nautilus SGI supercomputer crunched the 100 million articles
Mood detection, or "automated sentiment mining" searched for words such as "terrible", "horrific" or "nice".
Location, or "geocoding" took mentions of specific places, such as "Cairo" and converted them in to coordinates that could be plotted on a map.
Analysis of story elements was used to create an interconnected web of 100 trillion relationships.

I found this very interesting, although I've heard of a similar process that evidently predicted 9/11 in the summer of 2001. Is this practical, or simply a coincidental farce? If we could literally monitor the world's pulse, could we predict the future with this sort of complex program?

Shining Raichu
September 10th, 2011, 7:01 AM
Wow, this is fascinating. I'm inclined to believe it is the real deal. While I doubt it would be 100% accurate, with the amount of information given I also doubt that it would fit under the umbrella of 'coincidental farce'. If the computer were kept up-to-date with current news articles as they happened, then the predictive course could constantly be adjusted and made more accurate rather than being taken off on a tangent using old information, then this could be an incredibly useful tool to the future of the world.

That is, if we are smart enough to heed its warnings...

Mario The World Champion
September 10th, 2011, 7:37 AM
If this computer says that 2012 WILL happen after all, I'm killing myself.

September 10th, 2011, 10:10 AM
Amusing. I could think of this supercomputer in my free time.

September 10th, 2011, 2:45 PM
It's only able to "predict" things that have already happened so far. That's, well, interesting enough just to know that it can find some kind of pattern in all that information that gets fed into it, but at best, even if it could keep tabs on things as they are happening, we'd know if a country was in a good or bad place.

September 10th, 2011, 3:44 PM
I wouldn't go so far as to say that a "super" computer can predict anything, especially if it's something that's been annouced by the mainstream media. Anything they ever say I take with a grain of salt. You got to know, that everytime something big in the world happens, its "predicted" AFTER it happens. You NEVER see anything that "predicts" something come before an event. It's like when those shows on the history channel shows Bible prohecy and say that it predicted JFK assassination, and the Nazi movement, It's total brainwashing to me.

Stop relying on your silly media, and stop believeing everything that cross your path. Anything of this magnitude requires some research on your part, some certified proof if you will.

September 11th, 2011, 6:00 AM

I'm not the one to judge, but I don't believe in this at all. Even if I've been thinking for a while now that "the media news require acceptance, not belief", this is too untrue to let go by just saying "all right, that's good". Predict the future? right on, sir. The world is an infinite cascet of binary codes.

Oh, and as far as coding goes, yeah, for things that already happened, theoretically it could be possible to develop a formula and make it believable, but no more than that.

September 11th, 2011, 11:23 AM
I bet that computer would eventually get depressed and self-terminate. Z_z

September 12th, 2011, 3:52 PM
The fact that it predicted Osama's location is pretty interesting though.

September 12th, 2011, 3:57 PM
It will predict the second coming of Zet. When that happens, world peace will finally happen.

If someone were to read 100 million articles, you too would be able to "predict" the future.

September 15th, 2011, 1:23 PM
I highly doubt that this computer can predict the apocolypse or the second coming of Jesus, even the Bible says that nobody can predict the second coming of Jesus...

September 15th, 2011, 6:32 PM
That's kind of neat. While it obviously won't pinpoint everything, it might give us an idea as to the current state of international affairs really look like.

If this computer says that 2012 WILL happen after all, I'm killing myself.
If you're not joking, that's beyond stupid.

October 4th, 2011, 8:34 PM
I highly doubt that this computer can predict the apocolypse or the second coming of Jesus, even the Bible says that nobody can predict the second coming of Jesus...

Being a religeous matter, it won't predict that because only Christians believe it. Too specific and subjective.

Here's something similar, and much more eerie.


Timewave theory.