web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Microsoft, Technion Scientists Invent Software to Predict the Future

The system initially used 22 years of New York Times archives, from 1986 to 2007.
Technion Researcher Kira Radinsky

Technion Researcher Kira Radinsky
Photo Credit: Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

Eric Horvitz, distinguished scientist and co-director at Microsoft Research, and Kira Radinsky, a PhD researcher at the Technion-Israel Institute, say they have developed software which can predict future events.

The prototype uses a mix of archival material from the New York Times and data from several websites, including Wikipedia. During its setup phase, the system used 22 years of New York Times archives, from 1986 to 2007.

“One source we found useful was DBpedia, which is a structured form of the information inside Wikipedia constructed using crowdsourcing,” Radinsky told told MIT Technology Review. “We can understand, or see, the location of the places in the news articles, how much money people earn there, and even information about politics.” Other sources included WordNet, which helps software understand the meaning of words, and OpenCyc, a database of common knowledge.

The system could someday enable aid organizations to be more proactive in tackling disease outbreaks, Horvitz said.. “I truly view this as a foreshadowing of what’s to come,” he added. “Eventually, this kind of work will start to have an influence on how things go for people.”

The system provides some amazing results, apparently, when it is tested on historical data. Reports of droughts in Angola in 2006 triggered a warning about possible cholera outbreaks in the country, because previous events had taught the system that cholera outbreaks were more likely in years following droughts.

A second warning about cholera in Angola was triggered by news reports of large storms in Africa in early 2007—and, less than a week later, reports appeared that cholera had begun to spread. In similar tests involving forecasts of disease, violence, and high numbers of deaths, the system’s warnings were correct between 70 and 90 percent of the time.

According to Horvitz, the system is good enough to expect a more exact version that could be used in real settings, to assist experts at aid agencies involved in planning humanitarian response and readiness. “We’ve done some reaching out and plan to do some follow-up work with such people,” says Horvitz.

Horvitz and Radinsky are not the first to consider using online news and other data to forecast future events, but they say they make use of more data sources—more than 90 in total—which allows their system to be more general-purpose.

Microsoft doesn’t have plans to commercialize Horvitz and Radinsky’s research as yet, but the project will continue, says Horvitz, who wants to mine more newspaper archives as well as digitized books.

“Eventually this kind of work will start to have an influence on how things go for people,” Horvitz said.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

11 Responses to “Microsoft, Technion Scientists Invent Software to Predict the Future”

  1. The birth of psychohistory. Only in Israel.

  2. The birth of psychohistory. Only in Israel.

  3. Ari Z. Cohen says:

    Did the software know that was going to happen

  4. Liad Bar-el says:

    Ask this software if this project will be sucessful, in what time period and then see if it is true.

  5. Stephen Leavitt says:

    I bet it will predict that Shimon Peres will say we could have peace with the Palestinians within a year, if only we give them more concessions beyond what we gave them the year before, when we could have had peace with the Palestinians within the year, if only we will give them more concessions beyond what we gave them the year before, when we could have had peace with the Palestinians within a year, if only we will give them more concession beyond what we gave them the year before…

  6. Stephen Leavitt says:

    I bet it will predict that Shimon Peres will say we could have peace with the Palestinians within a year, if only we give them more concessions beyond what we gave them the year before, when we could have had peace with the Palestinians within the year, if only we will give them more concessions beyond what we gave them the year before, when we could have had peace with the Palestinians within a year, if only we will give them more concession beyond what we gave them the year before…

  7. Bracha Benaim says:

    Ha!

  8. Gil Gilman says:

    Everyone have a good sized rock in hand?

  9. An incredible young Technion researcher leading the way to another amazing technology.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jihad boy, age 13, poses with assault rifle in ISIS propaganda photo.
ISIS Urges Muslims Worldwide, ‘Kill A Disbeliever’
Latest News Stories

The renewed ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas ended peacefully for the day.

Father Gabriel Naddaf at the UN Human Rights Council

“In the Middle East today, there is one country where Christianity is not only not persecuted, but affectionately granted freedom of expression, freedom of worship and security. It is Israel, the Jewish State. “

Jihad boy, age 13, poses with assault rifle in ISIS propaganda photo.

ISIS has launched a global campaign to encourage Muslims to murder non-Muslims.

ISIS seized control of the Syrian border town of Quneitra temporarily towards the end of August 2014.

A French citizen is abducted and his life is now threatened by an ISIS group in Algeria.

Dr. Boaz Ganor, co-founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, calls Hamas and Hizbullah “hybrid” terrorist organizations.

A travel terror attack was foiled Tuesday on a road near Ashdod thanks to the alert eyes of the Israeli public and police.

Four Arab teens are indicted in connection with Sept. 7 attack on French Hill gas station.

PM Netanyahu has sent out his Rosh HaShana greeting to Jews around the world.

The IDF shot down a Syrian fighter jet that infiltrated Israeli air space, using a Patriot missile.

PA Chairman Abbas sent a message to Israeli PM Netanyahu in advance of the UN General Assembly: “End the occupation. Make peace.”

PM Netanyahu’s unprecedented NIS 2b development plan for southern Israel was approved Tuesday.

A statement issued by the Frenkel, Yifrach and Sha’ar families thanks Israel for ‘justice served.’

Three wounded Syrians were treated Tuesday at Nahariya’s Western Galilee Medical Center.

Head of the Israeli Navy Ram Rothberg attends a memorial ceremony held at sea by Israeli sailors from the navy’s newest submarine, the INS Tanin. The ceremony was in memory of the personnel of the INS Dakar, which sank 435 km. off the coast of Haifa in 1968. September 21, 2014. 

Syrians on both sides of the civil war responded to Israel’s downing of a Syrian Sukhoi-24 fighter jet Tuesday morning.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/microsoft-technion-scientists-invent-software-to-predict-the-future/2013/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: