Can Massive Crowd-Sourcing Predict The Future?

The crowdsourcing process in eight steps. Image: Daren C. Brabham (CC)

The crowdsourcing process in eight steps. Image: Daren C. Brabham (CC)

Alex Lightman was the CTO for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization. Now he compares the NASA Mission Control room to Caesars Palace Race and Sports Book, and asks whether we can harness the multi-billion dollar sports betting community to predict elections, markets, wars and weather?

A new company is trying to tap millions of users for a massive “crowd-sourced” prediction site inspired by both open source software and sports gambling. “If predictive entertainment ends up with the same ‘S-curve’ growth as the Internet itself, humanity could develop a sort of social superorganism superpower of precognition…” Using complexity to solve complexity, the site allows recorded, ranked predictions to be made millions of times an hour. “The open source model allows for parallel input of multiple approaches, agendas, knowledge banks, and priorities with far more flexibility and speed than traditionally closed or centralized models…”

But the implications are far-reaching. “Next time you hear someone make a prediction about a game, give him a hug or buy her a beer, because a tiny bit of salvation is in the process of unfolding…”

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