April 2, 2013
Social Media Psychic: A Woman (Accurately) Predicts the Future
Who’da thunk it? Tweets, posts, likes, and pins all across the web are currently being used to predict the future, and they’ve been accurate! This could, without a doubt, have a potent impact.
From economic forecasting to political projecting to simply knowing what’s next before it happens, anyone and everyone would love to be able to predict the future. One British economist is making it a reality.
Meet Noreena Hertz.
An influential economist on the global scale, CNN describes Hertz as having, “a knack for prescience that has put her ahead of the curve among her peers.”
She firmly believes that social media posts, pins, likes, etc., are grounds for forecasting and will one day become a foremost force in the business world.
Hertz has famously been a pioneer in her field; she “has made a career out of challenging the predictive powers of traditional forecasting models, which she says are far from perfect.”
At the Wired 2011 Conference, Hertz explained her plans to deploy an experiment to demonstrate the power of social networks as a tool for better understanding human behavior.
“I was really interested to see whether we could make predictions or forecasts by listening in on what people were saying on social media. Because, if we could improve upon the political forecasts; if we could improve upon sales forecasts by listening in on people’s chatter on Twitter, Facebook, those sorts of media, that would be a really exciting prospect.” she said.
Armed with a team of computer scientists, sociologists, and economists, Hertz worked to cultivate a method of research that she anticipated would allow them to forecast the winner of the popular British television show, “The X Factor”.
They did it. Not only did they accurately predict the weekly winners and castaways, they also picked the winning horse, figuratively.
“By developing a sophisticated algorithm, the team effectively “listened in” on hundreds of thousands of tweets at once and deduced not just the number and subject of messages but also, for the first time, the sentiment. In doing so they were able to make an accurate guess about who would stay and go each week.”
“We were pretty much beating the bookies,” Hertz confidently explained.
She’s been described as a visionary and rightly so. “She is one of the most influential economists on the international stage. Her unique, integrated approach combines traditional economic analysis with foreign policy trends, psychology, behavioural economics, anthropology, history and sociology. And her work is considered to provide a much needed blueprint for rethinking economics and corporate strategy.”
At just 19, Hertz earned her first degree at the University College London. She followed that with moving to the U.S. to study for an MBA. Shortly there after, she moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, enlightening Boris Yeltsin’s advisers in market economics. It was in St. Petersburg that she developed the idea for her PhD thesis, “Russian Business Relationships in the Wake of Reform“, at the University of Cambridge.
“In 2002 she wrote the book “The Silent Takeover,” which discussed the migration of power from government to corporations. In it, she correctly anticipated that unregulated markets and huge financial institutions would, in the near future, have grave consequences for the rest of the world.”
She’s been accurately predicting the future for more than ten years, and it’s no hocus-pocus; Hertz is the real deal.
If you’ve ever seen Fox’ Touch, Hertz is a walking, talking, future predicting, female version of Jake Bohm. (With the help of her team of computer scientists, sociologists, and economists, that is.)
Keep your eyes and ears open for her next bone chillingly accurate prediction. It may involve you somehow.
Image Credit: Photos.com