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Prediction By The Numbers

   2018    Science
Predictions underlie nearly every aspect of our lives, from sports, politics, and medical decisions to the morning commute. With the explosion of digital technology, the internet, and 'big data,' the science of forecasting is flourishing. But why do some predictions succeed spectacularly while others fail abysmally? And how can we find meaningful patterns amidst chaos and uncertainty? From the glitz of casinos and TV game shows to the life-and-death stakes of storm forecasts and the flaws of opinion polls that can swing an election, 'Prediction by the Numbers' explores stories of statistics in action. Yet advances in machine learning and big data models that increasingly rule our lives are also posing big, disturbing questions. How much should we trust predictions made by algorithms when we don't understand how they arrive at them? And how far ahead can we really forecast?

The Language of Science

   2017    History
Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Its legacy is tangible, with terms like algebra, algorithm and alkali all being Arabic in origin and at the very heart of modern science - there would be no modern mathematics or physics without algebra, no computers without algorithms and no chemistry without alkalis. For Baghdad-born Al-Khalili, this is also a personal journey, and on his travels he uncovers a diverse and outward-looking culture, fascinated by learning and obsessed with science. From the great mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, who did much to establish the mathematical tradition we now know as algebra, to Ibn Sina, a pioneer of early medicine whose Canon of Medicine was still in use as recently as the 19th century, Al-Khalili pieces together a remarkable story of the often-overlooked achievements of the early medieval Islamic scientists.
Series: Science and Islam

The Wall Street Code

   2013    Science
Super quick computers and advanced mathematical formulas have taken over trading on the financial markets from human beings -algorithms- which seem to have a life of their own. The only ones who understand the system in any way are its architects, the algorithm developers. Haim Bodek is one such algo-developer. After finding some strange wrongdoings he set out on a personal crusade against this elusive system". The machinery behind our financial markets, consisting of mathematical models, data centers and miles and miles of fiber optic cables, is disguised by technological complexity and secrecy. The builders of this financial system are a new breed of Wall Street employees -quants- mathematicians and physicists who are responsible for a technological revolution. Haim Bodek is a quant; he specialized in artificial intelligence and worked for Goldman Sachs. He knows the system from the inside, he helped build it. Haim Bodek was invited to tell his story at the "Battle of the Quants" - a recurring event where quants discuss high-frequency trading, amongst other things. Bodek wrote an algorithm for trading machines that would generate guaranteed income - a money machine that weathered the financial meltdown of 2008. But then from one day to the next the algorithm stopped working.

Will We Become God

   2014    Technology
Humanity’s potential seems limitless. But could we become as powerful as God? Scientific breakthroughs grant our species seemingly divine abilities. Biologists tinkering with DNA are figuring out ways to grow new life forms, while neuroscientists try to create artificial consciousness. Statisticians around the world are using big data to predict the future and computer scientists have discovered a "God algorithm" that could solve any global problem in an instant. But to truly become God, we not only have to be all knowing, but all being. Quantum physicists are figuring out how to teleport matter at the speed of light!
Series: Through the Wormhole Season 5
Science and Islam
Science and Islam

   2017    History
Vegan
Vegan

   2017    Culture
Dark Net
Dark Net

   2016    Technology
History of the World
History of the World

   2012    History
Five Came Back
Five Came Back

   2017    Art
First Life
First Life

   2010    Science
Nova Wonders
Nova Wonders

   2018    Science