And if you can get rough-yet-fairly accurate predictions with just some dudes and their desktop PC's, you can only imagine what could happen if we had, say, a gigantic supercomputer on the task. Or instead of imagining it, we could just go to Los Alamos National Laboratories where they have this fucker:
That's the Roadrunner system, it operates at 1.6 PetaFLOPS (that is, one point six quadrillion or 1,600,000,000,000,000 calculations a second) and they're busily teaching it to predict things. They're running mathematical models that will let it map everything from the chaotic spread of a wildfire to the expansion of the universe.
Of course, even then, the models are simply predicting broad trends. They could maybe predict what the crime rate in Baltimore will be next year, but can't predict that the guy in the next cubicle over is about to stab some dudes. No, for that you'd need the FAST (Future Attribute Screening Technologies) program, a system developed by the Department of Homeland Security that can measure your vital signs and fleeting facial expressions and accurately predict that you're going to commit a crime in the near future.
All of which leaves us with one question: What happens when personal computers get powerful enough to run the prediction software on their own, and everyone has access to it? How will people's behavior change when they know what the computer is predicting they'll do? And how will the computers adjust their predictions based on the subjects of their predictions knowing the predictions? Or will it have predicted the subjects' awareness of the predictions as part of its original predictions?
Wait, this is why they started burning witches, isn't it?
You can read more of Wang's articles at Gunaxin.
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