It’s simply outstanding where we stand now with technology. We have created some of the best creations and discovered scientific breakthroughs man has never seen before. All thanks to technology, mankind has been able to leap from simplicity to modern age intricacy. Whether it’s in simple inventions like the automated floor cleaner robot, or complex ones like hybrid cars. Leave it to humans to create something remarkable with the right tools and technology on their side.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it”
– Peter Drucker
It seems like the world we live in today isn’t quite as we expected it to be. I remember a time where our greatest expectations were simpler than what we wish for now. Back in the day, our concerns were more about how to get that promotion we deserve, how to impress our loved ones, or should I save up for an iPhone or not. It was basic, simple, and straightforward. Now, with diseases, viruses, and wars conquering our planet all we can think about is “can this get any worse?”.
The future of our existence has become our major interest for now. What will happen tomorrow is what we need to know. So, with the use of technology and artificial intelligence, is it possible to predict the future?
What is AI Technology?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a controversial term that you might have heard about many times and in different definitions. Basically, it’s just robots thinking and acting like humans. It’s the process of having robots and technology learn from experience so that they can solve problems and do what humans can do. It uses the technology of machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing, to process the data it’s given into algorithmic patterns.
You can notice the AI technology in most of the inventions you see today. Your phone uses machine learning to analyze facial recognition and provide you with voice activation features to navigate your device. You may have also seen the self-parking cars that use AI technology with a built-in camera to navigate and park your car precisely as desired. Of course, the list goes on as magnificent gadgets and inventions are created almost every day with the use of AI technology. It’s remarkable how these simple added gadgets and features have made our lives a much easier and simple process to go by.
The world around us is changing rapidly and it seems like there’s no time to adapt to all these transitions. Technology is no doubt the reason behind this change, whether it’s good or bad. Nevertheless, AI still does its part when it comes to the welfare and aid of mankind. However, it seems like as the world changes and our knowledge increases, everything is collapsing all around us. With viruses, quarantines, and wars, who knows what tomorrow might hold. Since the use of high-tech equipment has proven to help society, is it possible for it to help in the future? Can we use technology to predict what is coming?
Predicting the Future
It’s perfectly clear that nobody knows what will happen in the future, at least it’s not proven that it’s possible. Although some factors and information that are given from any certain situation can contribute to the prediction process. For example, the weather forecast gathers information about the state of the atmosphere from the temperature, humidity, and wind levels. This information helps give a better understanding of the atmospheric condition that will help determine the weather in the future. Another future predicting method can be seen in physics. For example, predicting where an object will land if thrown from a moving plane at a certain speed. This case requires a thorough analysis and understanding of gravity, speed, and other physical factors that will lead to an accurate prediction.
Of course, there are a lot of situations where predicting the future is possible. Although, it relies on the information in the data given and it only provides an accurate prediction for a few months into the future at best. Some use the information they gather and start making guesses of what the possible income might come from situations and cases. Some people are able to predict the future relying on causal reasoning. This process depends on finding a relationship between events that have occurred and how they have affected the future. It’s finding the correlations in a given situation and relating them to their natural result.
As this article circles around the concept of AI predicting the future, it still seems far from possible for machine learning to comprehend causal reasoning. So, is it possible to have it predict what’s next?
Well actually, yes.
AI Technology Predicting the Future
According to an article in New Scientist, there have been new ways to predict the future using AI technology as the base. Simulations are now used, powerful and accurate ones to be exact, to predict human behaviors and their effects on any situation in the future. It all can be observed in the multi-agent artificial intelligence (MAAI) technology that is up and running now in our current time.
What is MAAI?
It’s an invention that makes accurate predictions while testing them in highly detailed simulations that provide numerous possibilities and effects for different cases.
A simpler way to describe this process is the technique of agent-based modeling, which is used in the MAAI prediction operation.
In agent-based modeling (ABM), a system is modeled as a collection of autonomous decision-making entities called agents. These agents act and react, individually, to specific conditions and alternate realities depending on a set of rules they are programmed by. They make human-like decisions and perform various behaviors that suit the system they represent. For example, these acts can be consuming products, selling equipment, and so on. Another feature this extraordinary system has is that these agents interact with each other which allows the simulation to explore more dynamics of the real-world system (that it emulates) which makes the results even more accurate. In addition to that, it’s possible for these agents to evolve and adapt to behaviors.
More complex ABMs sometimes adopt new learning techniques which makes the simulation even more realistic, as well as incorporating neural networks and evolutionary algorithms that make the system adaptive.
Usually, agent-based modeling is used in areas such as the market in conditions relating to stock, strategizing, …etc. Other areas ABM can emulate are also organization-related activities, diffusion processes, and flows of traffic, and other related actions.
Multi-agent artificial intelligence (MAAI) technology is a broader use of simulations that can simulate more predictions for a larger number of agents with more accuracy. It relies on artificial intelligence technology in finding a pattern and adapting human-like behaviors to predict the outcome of any given situation. It is said that it would be used in the 2020 presidential election campaign for Donald Trump to predict the outcome of his planned campaign against Joe Biden.
Other Prediction Techniques
As you have seen there are many ways to predict the future by using technology. Scientists were able to develop the MAAI system that uses AI to predict the outcome of certain situations.
Another method that can be used to predict the future is the statistical phenomenon of Regression to the mean. This phenomenon indicates that “data that is extremely higher or lower than the mean will likely be closer to the mean if it is measured a second time”.
This means that if you measure two individual sets from your sample and you get a result closer to the mean, then it’s most likely that you get a different result the next time you measure those same sets.
In other words, let’s say you’re playing a good old game of heads or tails best 3 out of 5. The one who’s flipping the coin gives it a flip and the coin lands on heads the first time. On the second try, the coin also lands on heads, which according to the situation it’s most likely to land on tails the next time. That’s what is called regression to the mean. It’s because a coin landed multiple times on the same side, it means that the next time it’s going to land on the other side according to the statistical phenomenon. But that’s mathematically impossible because the chances of the coin landing on heads or tails are 50/50.
Basically, this phenomenon relies on chance or luck, which aren’t factors to take into consideration when developing a future predicting model. Although, can’t this process be used or programmed into AI technology to have a better chance of predicting future events?
To conclude, AI technology is truly a remarkable thing in our current time. Whether it’s helping us in our daily routines or even developing the next cure for the common cold. Nevertheless, we can’t doubt what technology can do in the future. Who knows maybe predicting the future will be somewhat an invention of the past soon?
Joe Marji is a constant blogger from the great city of Ottawa, Ontario. He enjoys all kinds of sports activities but a nerd for modern-age technology gadgets. How ironic! He believes that words speak louder than actions, especially when they’re coming from your angry partner.