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  #1  
Old 2008-11-22, 18:27
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Google can predict the Flu

Seriously;
http://www.google.org/about/flutrends/how.html

Google.org has found that by looking at search requests they can predict flu outbreaks 2 weeks before they are picked up on other systems.



Impressively accurate really.
This is just from looking at search request data too.

As with most Google.org stuff all the data is availible to download for those wishing to study it.

I wonder if this sort of techique will be used to predict other things.
Can search requests be used to determain the state of a country in various ways?
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  #2  
Old 2008-11-22, 18:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
I wonder if this sort of techique will be used to predict other things.
Can search requests be used to determain the state of a country in various ways?
You can take temperature at least.

Here you can for example see what countries search the most for "civil rights".
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  #3  
Old 2008-11-22, 19:14
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Oh, never new about that, last I saw there was just the Trends thing.
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Old 2008-11-22, 19:15
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That's nice. It also reminds me how much power Google has, and that it can choose whether to publish any of its infinite amount of knowledge or not. I would feel much better about it if the information they inputted into their analyzing program was freely available to the public.
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  #5  
Old 2008-11-22, 19:27
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Well it just makes sense that during flu outbursts people will google it more than usual.
I don't see what is the use of this though?
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  #6  
Old 2008-11-22, 20:22
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This predicts an influenza outbreak 2 weeks quicker then the current methods.
Thats a lot of time in this sort of thing. Getting doctors stocked up on supplys, telling people to track precautions etc.

Quote:
would feel much better about it if the information they inputted into their analyzing program was freely available to the public.
I think it would be "mostly harmless" to publish them, but when you enter something into google you dont agree for it to be made public do you?
I dont think Google could legaly publish the raw data.
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  #7  
Old 2008-11-22, 20:28
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Yes absolutely, I don't want my search log to go public. I don't want any logs saved at all. You can say it's only fair that since they provide the service they have a right to tag and track their users, but we're talking tens of millions of users here, and that gives me some bad vibes. If everyone's search log would have gone public, it would ultimately be better than one group having sole control over it.
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  #8  
Old 2008-11-22, 21:07
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I dissagree, as to that one group in controll, whats usefull is the data as a collection.. As a single person your pretty worthless to Google.
With a lot of data, making it public would be better, but not in this case, imo.

Search logs are like emails; You give one person controll of them, that you trust. But you wouldnt want them public!
Having one group having soul controll over your emails is a good thing. (I think most people would agree anyway).

On the same principle, I have no problem with my search logs being saved.
Remember in order to do something nasty with my search data, I would have to do something so stupid as to look up in google:

"This is my Bank Card number: 234234234 and pin code: 343434"
or
"I Live at this address and leave my key under the flowerpot"


Now, while I'm sure theres some idiots that would search for something like that, I dont think the chances of Google exploiting that are very large.
It would take a corrupt group at google as well as some idiots online.
If it was published, however, it would only take the idiots online.

Googles not going to risk public outcry, humilation, and bad press by stealing someones credit card details. But RandomJoy23 might do it, he hasnt got that much to lose.

So I think the dangers of public search logs are more then google owning them.

Not that there wouldnt be an upside to publishing online; With more eyes looking at the data, more correlations could be found faster.

But legaly it really cant be done, and I think you probably underestimate the importance of those logs at google. Without irration improvement based on the logs, I'm sure googles services wouldnt be anywhere near as good.
Almost everything google does they run it in tests over previous sever logs to see what the effect will be. Dealing with virus outbreaks (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/...-you-safe.html) for example.

The Google spellcheck is another simple example. Its very much based on the log files of search querys. (for instance, if you search and click on a result, its likely thats a legitmate word others might search for. But if you search get few results, then search for a simala word, it knows the first was probably a spelling mistake. Naturaly normal dictionarys cant be used because people search for a heck of a lot of stuff that wouldnt be in one).


Taking away Googles logs is akin to removing the test tubes from a bunch of scientists
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  #9  
Old 2008-11-22, 21:26
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I'm not liking the sounds of this RandomJoy23 guy...
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  #10  
Old 2008-11-22, 22:01
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"Soul control"

Google... I dunno, no one should have that much power. They're just bound to someday go all "muhaha" and change their logo from colorful to all-red-and-angry and take over the world.

It's as if Google is out there experimenting, only the whole world is their lab.
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  #11  
Old 2008-11-23, 17:03
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http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google

And then they'll take over the world.
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  #12  
Old 2008-11-23, 17:14
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Interesting.
Id say Google(&co) is replacing our memory, not our inteligence.
I'm not bothered, my memory is shit anyway. If I can keep all the public-domain -knowledge outside my head, that leaves more room for personal memorys

Quote:
I'm not liking the sounds of this RandomJoy23 guy...
yeah, be carefull, he is really dodge.
He has already erased all trace of himself from google.

Quote:
It's as if Google is out there experimenting, only the whole world is their lab.
Well, they are.
But fortuntely, as they live in the world, its a good thing.

I mean, at least google expirement rather then take action....govements take action rather then expirement first
While I wouldnt want google to "rule the world", certainly there methods of running their buisness to me seems a good guide to have govenments should work.
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  #13  
Old 2008-11-23, 17:33
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While I wouldnt want google to "rule the world", certainly there methods of running their buisness to me seems a good guide to have govenments should work.
I would rather put my hope on the incompetence of governments lately. If they would get away with half of the nonsense they came up with, eeek, better start storing your food.

Is it true Google has a banking licence already, anyone?
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  #14  
Old 2008-11-23, 17:58
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dont think so, but rather them then PayPal.
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  #15  
Old 2008-11-24, 19:25
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Haven't you people seen Die Hard 4?

Bad guys can look up all of your information simply by finding your IP address.
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  #16  
Old 2008-11-24, 19:42
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What about dynamic IPs?
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  #17  
Old 2008-11-24, 20:52
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They have moving vans!
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Old 2008-11-25, 19:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightwing View Post
Haven't you people seen Die Hard 4?

Bad guys can look up all of your information simply by finding your IP address.
yep, you can also destory aircrafts with cars.
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Old 2008-11-25, 22:09
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There was a case 26 years ago when a man with the flu threw up and the vomit spelled "google", so it was actually the flu predicting google.
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  #20  
Old 2008-11-25, 22:15
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Surreal yet funny +1
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