The New York Times might be a widely respected chronicler of past events, but can we use it to divine the future? Kira Radinsky, a 27-year-old Israeli computer prodigy dubbed the “web prophet” says yes.
Radinsky, who appeared this year on MIT’s prestigious list of top 35 inventors under the age of 35 (previous winners include the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin), and who started university at the age of 15 and received her Ph.D. in computer science at 26, has developed a unique system which she claims has already predicted the first cholera epidemic in Cuba in many decades, many of the riots that started the Arab Spring, and other important world events.
The complex computer algorithms she wrote collect immense volumes of electronic data–most notably several decades of New York Times archives but also anything from Twitter feeds to Wikipedia entries–and processes it to extract little-known cause and effect patterns that can be used to predict future events.
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