Summary: For the past two years, Aram Galstyan has led a group of researchers at the Information Sciences Institute (University of Southern California) on a project named Synergistic Anticipation of Geopolitical Events, or SAGE, to attempt to predict the future using non-experts.
Original author and publication date: Savanna Mesch – March 18, 2020
Futurizonte Editor;s Note: If we already have a telephone (voice at a distance), a televisor (sight at a distance), and a telescope (gaze at a distance), why not a telechronos (time at a temporal distance)?
From the article:
It could be argued that scientists create superpowers in their labs. If Aram Galstyan, director of the Artificial Intelligence Division at the USC Viterbi Information Sciences Institute (ISI) had to pick just one superpower, it would be the ability to predict the future. What will be the daily closing price of Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at the end of next week? How many 6.0 or stronger earthquakes will occur worldwide next month? Galstyan and a team of researchers at USC ISI are building a system to answer such questions.
For the past two years, Galstyan has led a group of researchers at ISI on a project named Synergistic Anticipation of Geopolitical Events, or SAGE, to attempt to predict the future using non-experts.
The SAGE project relies on human participants to interact with machine learning tools to make predictions about future events. Their goal is for the forecasts borne from the combination of human + AI to be more accurate than those of humans alone.
Their research has proved quite useful and people’s predictions largely on target. ISI’s Fred Morstatter, a USC Viterbi research assistant professor of computer science, said that non-experts accurately predicted in April that North Korea would launch its missile test before July; North Korea launched in May.
It was the country’s first missile launch in seven months, taking place just days after the question appeared on SAGE. “That was something I don’t think any of us thought was going to happen,” Morstatter said.
SAGE is funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which invests in high-risk, high payoff research projects to benefit the U.S. intelligence community.
IARPA is interested in developing forecasting technology that makes predictions, based on a large set of human users, that are more accurate and faster than a single human subject expert. Having the ability to predict geopolitical events could potentially help the intelligence community make better, more informed national security decisions.
The agency has hosted many competitions related to forecasting, including the Aggregative Contingent Estimation project, which crowdsourced humans to make predictions.
SAGE expands on this previous study, instead asking people to make predictions based on information provided by various machine learning methods.