Researchers from the University of Southern California's (USC) Viterbi Information Sciences Institute (ISI) are working hard on being able to predict the future. Imagine knowing when an earthquake was going to hit a region a month in advance? Or what the daily closing price of the Nikkei would be at the end of the week?
Life would be a very different place, and that's exactly what the USC team has been working on by combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human predicting.
Humans and AI working together to predict the future
Aram Galstyan and his team at USC ISI have been working on the Synergistic Anticipation of Geopolitical Events (SAGE) project for two years, in a way to predict the future without needing any experts.
SAGE relies on human participants interacting with machine learning tools in order to make predictions on future events. The aim is to make more accurate forecasts by combining AI and human intelligence, instead of just relying on humans alone.
Largely, the project's predictions so far have been on point. For instance, USC ISI's research assistant Fred Morstatter said that non-experts made the correct predictions that in April North Korea would launch a missile test before July — they did so in May.
"Thanks to the machine models we have in our system," Morstatter said. "Forecasters are doing better than the control system which only has human forecasters."
The SAGE predictions appear to be working well so far, and the team has been able to show how machine intelligence and human decision-making can predict outcomes better than humans alone.
"SAGE works because humans have one side of the coin, and machines have the other side," stated Morstatter. It appears that technology and AI aren't taking the entire spotlight quite yet, but working in combination with humans they're performing well in predicting the future.