Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Super Computer That Sees The Future

News abounds at lightning speeds—on the Internet and T.V., in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and social networking sites—but what do we get when we consume news? Scientist Kalev Leetaru believes news is capable of teaching us much more than just what happened in the world today.

“News gives you incredible information about people, places, and organizations,” says Leetaru, assistant director for Text and Digital Media Analytics at the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science at the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “It also tells you about the relationships between them, about how people view each other.”

The field of digital humanities is growing, which is why Leetaru took his research to the resources at the Univ. of Tennessee’s (UT) National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS).

Using a large, shared memory supercomputer called Nautilus, Leetaru has analyzed the tone and geographic dimensions of a 30-year archive of global news to produce real-time forecasts of human behavior such as national conflicts and the movement of specific individuals.


Quantum Jumping

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