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Is It Possible To Predict The Entire Future?

That’s what Dirk Helbing, professor at ETH Zürich and computer scientist, is trying to do, and here’s what I think may happen.

By Saffu on Unsplash.

Computer Scientists Predicting The Future

Dirk Helbing, professor at ETH Zürich, was the main responsible for a project named FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator and Crysis Relief System which is a computing system that would help predict the future.

The core of the system is the Living Earth Simulator, a computing machine that attempts to simulate the future with the help of torrential data streams, and algorithms that would take into account economy, agriculture, weather, and many other pieces of information from many sorts of areas.

His project became famous when it was competing for funding from the European Commission in 2011. The project was not funded in 2011, but the ideas developed by professor Dirk Helbing’s group influenced many international research programs. Only in 2017 Helbing’s FuturICT 2.0 project were funded by the European Commission’s FLAG-ERA program.

How Would It Be Like Living In A World Completely Predicted By A Computer?

Indeed, it’s already possible to predict, with varying degrees of accuracy, quite complex events such as presidential elections, traffic, weather, and animal migrations. So how long will it take until the smallest details of the future are also predicted by scientists? Or is predicting the entire future not scientifically possible?

I first approached this subject with this 1-minute science fiction. There you will see my attitude towards machines predicting the future is quite a Laplacian one: I think it’s possible, but I don’t think it’s a simple thing to do.

Then I came with this other one, also short (but with almost 1000 words) where the leading character, Edward Busque, is finally working on a case. He has to discover what caused a car accident in the past. What I like about this one is that I wrote it imagining time-traveling detectives (who virtually reconstruct the past and try to predict the future) becoming an almost common profession in the future.

Now I just finished the next episode which concludes the first arch of Busque’s story (the main character of this universe). This time I tried to picture what would happen to an institute capable of predicting the future under our current economic system. It took me more words to write this episode, nearly 3000 words. Soon as I publish it somewhere, which I’m still deciding where it will be, I will post the link to it here.



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A.P. Bird

M.A. in Philosophy. Fritz Lang's Metropolis, and a King Kong graphic novel got me into science fiction when I was a kid.