Software predicts tomorrow’s news analyzing today’s & yesterday’s | MIT Tech Review ::uses NYT archives::

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Researchers have created software that predicts when and where disease outbreaks might occur based on two decades of New York Times articles and other online data…

The system provides striking results when tested on historical data. For example, 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; less than a week later, reports appeared that cholera had become established. In similar tests involving forecasts of disease, violence, and a significant numbers of deaths, the system’s warnings were correct between 70 to 90 percent of the time.

Read the full piece at technologyreview.com