Google has purchased an Internet startup company that has created software to predict the future based on how often topics are mentioned on the Web. The startup, Recorded Future, stated on their blog that “we compute a momentum value for each entity and event in our database. The momentum value indicates how interesting a certain event or entity is at a particular time, and is continuously updated. In computing the momentum value, we take into account the volume of news around an entity or event, as well as what sources it is mentioned in, what other events and entities it is mentioned together with, and several other factors. The momentum measure is used to present the most relevant query results in our web user interface, but it can also be analyzed using statistical methods to predict possible future changes in momentum, which in turn can be valuable, e.g. for trading decisions.”
What do you think – is this a reliable method of predicting the future? Or is Google barking up the wrong tree?