Duke University’s Ward Lab developing algorithms that can predict future conflicts.
When the lab put out their semiannual predictions in July, they gave Paraguay a 97 percent chance of insurgency, largely based on reports of Marxist rebels. The next month, guerrilla campaigns intensified, proving out the prediction.
According to Ward Lab’s staff, the purpose of the project isn’t to make predictions but to test theories. If a certain theory of geopolitics can predict an uprising in the Ukraine, then maybe that theory is onto something. And even if these specialists could predict every conflict, it would only be half the battle.
Unlike predictions made by human analysts, automated predictions are done based on data without any political bias and therefore tend to be more accurate.