Using search to predict the future
Ahlberg joins us to describe how Recorded Future does what it does and what it might mean. He says they're constantly pulling information from everything from government reports to news media to Twitter and blogs. They look at where politicians are traveling, where bombs have gone off.
Ahlberg says that the breakthrough is in semantics. The ability to search for the presence of words has, of course, been around for many, many years. But he says his company is able to scan for meaning as well. So it's not just what's being said but what it all means.
Recorded Future has already had some success in predicting things like the bond market. As for big events, Iran getting nuclear weapons for instance, they're not able to point to a date but they are able to point to when the Internet thinks Iran will get a nuclear weapon.
Also in this show, the wonderful/terrible new patent by Amazon that lets you return horrible gifts before you ever receive them.