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Exploring the Future With Modern Information Technology

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The FuturICT project aims to model what impact political decisions have globally on society, the environment, and the economy.

The goal of the FuturICT global knowledge accelerator platform proposed by European researchers is to understand how the world works so that imminent crises can be predicted and possibly ameliorated or even prevented.

Led by ETH Zurich scientist Dirk Helbing, the project aims to develop the Living Earth Simulator to facilitate the modeling and analysis of techno-commercial-sociological-ecological systems, and will be capable of considering interactions between up to 10 billion individuals. FutureICT plans not just to recognize early-stage financial or economic crises, but also to connect different areas together. Integral to the initiative's success is a platform that can record and analyze massive data volumes, transfer them to computer models, and make them universally usable. New data-mining methods and real-time data set collection also will be vital.

The project will be interdisciplinary, bringing together computer scientists, information and communications technology specialists, complexity scientists, economists, sociologists, and sustainability and systemic risk experts. Helbing notes that endemic to the project is the challenge of developing new data encryption, storage, and processing techniques that support beneficial data mining while also protecting individual privacy and confidential commercial data.

From ETH Life
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