AI algorithm gives computers ‘hindsight’ to anticipate the future

April 15, 2011

An AI algorithm that gives computers “hindsight” to anticipate the future has been developed by computer scientists and economists at Tel Aviv University.

Funded by Google, the researchers have developed an algorithm that uses academic game theory to measure the distance between a desired outcome and an actual outcome. The algorithm can adapt to the situation at hand by analyzing the behavior of users as it is running. The results, a form of ¬†hindsight, may prove useful in more accurately predicting future outcomes — such as a bidding war on an online auction site, a sudden spike of traffic to a media website, or demand for an online product.

“If the servers and routing systems of the Internet could see and evaluate all the relevant variables in advance, they could more efficiently prioritize server resource requests, load documents, and route visitors to an Internet site, for instance,” Tel Aviv University Professor Yishay Mansour said.

Google hopes to use the research to improve its technologies and businesses, including the AdWords and Adsense advertising platforms.

The project was launched at the International Conference on Learning Theory in Haifa, Israel earlier this year.