An algorithm can predict human behavior better than humans

You might presume, or at least hope, that humans are better at understanding fellow humans than machines are. But a new MIT study suggests an algorithm can predict someone’s behavior faster and more reliably than humans can. Max Kanter, a master’s student in computer science at MIT, and his advisor, Kalyan Veeramachaneni, a research scientist at MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory, created the Data Science Machine to search for patterns and choose which variables are the most relevant. Their paper on the project results (pdf) will be presented at the IEEE Data Science and Advanced Analytics conference in Paris this week. It’s fairly common for machines to analyze data, but humans are typically required to choose which data points are relevant for analysis. In three competitions with human…


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