Kurzweil Accelerating News, July 5, 2012
Berlin Institute of Technology researchers studied the problem of trend-setting among news sites to determine which websites lead the news coverage and which ones merely follow, Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog reports.
They took a snapshot of the words generated by 96 technology news websites at any instant in time and compared them to the words generated by one of these websites at an earlier time.
This allowed them to calculate whether the content of this single website is a good predictor of future content on other websites and ranked them according to this metric.
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In this case, the trend setters are simply the ones who post the wires stories first or who post so many of them that they are first often enough to seem like trend setters.
ROBERT STEELE: Technology is not a substitute for thinking. This is a micro-example of Wall Street algorithm corruption within the so-called scientific and media worlds. Computers are very good at machine speed repetitive procesess. They are NOT good at developing models, forming hypotheses, making counter-intuitive leaps, or doing all the other things that the human brain can do. 2012 is the first year in which a larger mass of public minds underestands the superiority of the brain over the computer, and of human networks over organizational hierarchies that eschew accountability in favor of secrecy.