The Age of Prediction
Algorithms, AI, and the Shifting Shadows of Risk
232 pp., 6 x 9 in, 13 b&w illus.
- Published: August 22, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
The power of the ever-increasing tools and algorithms for prediction and their paradoxical effects on risk.
The Age of Prediction is about two powerful, and symbiotic, trends: the rapid development and use of artificial intelligence and big data to enhance prediction, as well as the often paradoxical effects of these better predictions on our understanding of risk and the ways we live. Beginning with dramatic advances in quantitative investing and precision medicine, this book explores how predictive technology is quietly reshaping our world in fundamental ways, from crime fighting and warfare to monitoring individual health and elections.
As prediction grows more robust, it also alters the nature of the accompanying risk, setting up unintended and unexpected consequences. The Age of Prediction details how predictive certainties can bring about complacency or even an increase in risks—genomic analysis might lead to unhealthier lifestyles or a GPS might encourage less attentive driving. With greater predictability also comes a degree of mystery, and the authors ask how narrower risks might affect markets, insurance, or risk tolerance generally. Can we ever reduce risk to zero? Should we even try? This book lays an intriguing groundwork for answering these fundamental questions and maps out the latest tools and technologies that power these projections into the future, sometimes using novel, cross-disciplinary tools to map out cancer growth, people's medical risks, and stock dynamics.
“At the dawn of what they aptly call 'the Age of Prediction,' Tulchinsky and Mason give us an exceptionally clear view of the interplay between risk and uncertainty—a guide for what's to come.”
Alyssa Goodman, Professor, Harvard University; Founder,The Prediction Project (predictionx.org)
“With multimodal data and foundation models, we're getting better at predicting everything from earthquakes to health care risks. The extraordinary range of how this may be applied, along with caveats, is nicely captured—with optimism—by an 'odd couple' of authors with interdisciplinary expertise in The Age of Prediction.”
Eric Topol, author of Deep Medicine
“After explaining the common predictive thread underlying diminishing risk in medicine and finance, Tulchinsky and Mason ask if we will ever predict all human behavior. Their analysis is brilliant.”
Michael Milken, chairman, Milken Institute; author of Faster Cures: Accelerating the Future of Health
“The Age of Prediction wrestles with the most important questions facing the world in the decades ahead. For everything from war to business to the environment to health, the question of 'what do we do now if we know the future' looms just ahead of us. This book helps us prepare for that coming dilemma.”
James Stavridis, 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO; Vice Chair, Global Affairs, The Carlyle Group; coauthor of 2034: A Novel of the Next World War
“A powerfully brilliant and insightful portal into an unsettling but promising future. Igor Tulchinsky and Chris Mason have melded incomparable expertise in medicine and finance with a shared passion for the emerging power of AI to produce a book that is simultaneously entertaining, instructive, and thought-provoking. A must-read.”
Stanley McChrystal, General, US Army (Retired); Former Commander, International Security Forces – Afghanistan and Joint Special Operations Command
“The authors are the real deal. They founded one of the most successful data-driven hedge funds in the world. They understand data, AI, and risk. Learn from the best!”
Sebastian Thrun, Founder and Professor, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab 2.0