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In Douglas Adams book the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we encounter a machine called Deep Thought. It is the most powerful computer ever built. Deep Thought is capable of answering questions concerning life, the Universe, and simply everything. Now scientists are planning to create a similar machine. It is called the Living Earth Simulator (LES).
Can a supercomputer really predict the future? There are researchers who believe it possible to construct a machine that can predict anything from next financial crisis to next social trends.
The Living Earth Simulator Project (LES) is estimated to cost £900 million and its goal is to create a computer system that can simulate everything on this planet.
Using data fed into the internet, trends can be spotted by analyzing information with ‘the world’s most powerful computers’.
“The idea is to gather live information from a huge range of sources and then analyze it using the world’s most powerful computers.
Many problems we have today – including social and economic instabilities, wars, disease spreading are related to human behavior, but there is apparently a serious lack of understanding regarding how society and the economy work, said Professor Dirk Helbing, one of the leaders of the project at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Although the European Commission has also put the Living Earth Simulator at the top of its shortlist for £900m in funding, there are scientists who raise a critical voice pointing out that the project is too ambitious and unrealistic.
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