Analysis: Big data may predict where —but not when —conflict happens

Data can tell us a lot about things that have already happened. As our increasingly digital world produces an ever-more complete record of world happenings large and small, our ability to roll back the clock and see exactly how things played out has never been greater. But, like, who cares about yesterday’s news, man?

For a certain type of policymaker, bent on throwing off the shackles of chronology, the promise of big data is not that it can elucidate the past but that it can predict the future. Security is as prone to this tendency as any other field, and a rash of research has made attempts to use new data harvests to predict the outbreak of security challenges.

Author: Sam Ratner

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