Supercomputers - fortune tellers

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					             'Supercomputers’ – Fotune Tellers
London: The European Union is all set to fund a 900 million-pound scheme
to produce a computer system that could predict spread of diseases and
impending financial meltdowns.

The Living Earth Simulator Project (LES), which has been backed by leading
scientists, aims to “simulate everything” on the planet, using anything from
tweets to government statistics to map out social trends and predict the
next economic crisis.

The man behind the idea has billed it as a “nervous system for the planet”,
while academics have backed it as a replacement for current outdated
economic models.

“The idea is to gather live information from a huge range of sources and
then analyse it using the world’s most powerful computers,” the Daily Mail
quoted Dirk Helbing, one of the leaders of the project at the Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology in Zurich as telling the Sunday Times.

“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,” he said.

According to Helbing, the LES would be able to predict the spread of
infectious disease such as Swine Flu, identify methods for tackling climate
change and even spot an impending financial crisis.

It would be filled with huge swathes of data, which would be assembled as
yet un-built supercomputer hardware capable of data analysis on a
mammoth scale.

Around 30 leading computer science centres worldwide have already pledged
their support for the supercomputer, including three in Britain. Oxford
University, University College London (UCL) and Edinburgh University have
also formed the Future CT consortium to help push ahead with plans for the

However, the plans to recreate the entire world in a complex computer
system have drawn criticism from some science experts who see the project
as too ambitious and unrealistic.

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