[FoRK] Human behavior is 93% predictable

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Tue Mar 2 00:14:01 PST 2010

On Mar 1, 2010, at 11:14 PM, Jebadiah Moore wrote:
> As an individual, perhaps you can dodge detection, by avoiding sensors,
> understanding the tech, intentionally randomizing your activities (or better
> yet, lots of others').  Of course, you then submit yourself to a life of
> randomness, because any pattern in a field of randomness makes itself
> obvious.  There's still going to be potential for deception, but to take
> advantage will require deep knowledge of the algorithms involved, as well as
> a severe amount of self-awareness.

That's what most people assume, but they are wrong. Humans are essentially incapable of producing randomness that cannot be defeated by a machine. We might not like the idea, but it is reality. Humans are very deterministic even when they try not to be. Actually, especially when they try not to be.

To "beat" the system, you have to be completely off-grid in a hard-core kind of way i.e. not having any involvement with civilization. Even at that, you are only delaying the inevitable.

> On the deep end, highly accurate pattern detection tech opens up the doors
> to a few holy grails of AI (though I think this is fairly obvious).

Sufficiently advanced database technology is indistinguishable from a generalized induction/prediction technology.

> Of course, that's assuming that the pattern prediction gets really good.
> It's no-shit obvious that peoples' macro movement patterns are predictable
> (as are eating, sex, sleep, and similar).  But smaller/subtler/more creative
> actions, the writing and speech and product creation and capital
> raising--that is, the interesting stuff--are much less predictable, although
> I don't doubt that they are predictable on some useful scale.

Pattern prediction is more accurate and more micro than commonly assumed.  Even the public theoretical toolset has become insanely good over the last ten years. There are hard limits of predictability, but those barriers are so low as to not protect much.

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