Thanks to science and research we can confirm it’s true. A discovery was made known as the ‘wisdom of the crowd’, a concept first documented back in 1906 by a statistician named Francis Galton.
Galton was at a county fair where around 800 people had attempted to guess the weight of an Ox. No one guessed correctly, but when Galton averaged the guesses together, the collective crowd answer was just 0.75% off the actual weight.
Simply put, a crowd of people can be surprisingly accurate when predicting outcomes and making forecasts. This illustrates a form of collective intelligence rooted in the crowd being diverse and not necessarily an individual being gifted or talented. Many tournaments have been held over the years to test this theory. Armed with just the Internet and their own thoughts, individuals worked together in a group to forecast future events and as a result they outperformed some experts – even the top CIA intelligence officers in one case.
We hear and make predictions daily, from weather reports to stock prices, elections down to epidemics. Predictions are concerned with future certainty and by forecasting these events it allows us to discover special ‘signals’ in the noise. For companies, societies and the world at large the full range of possibilities is endless and can determine future actions that can influence our future.
So what does it take to become a forecaster?
Forecasters are made not born. It requires a relative amount of intelligence, an interest in the world and keeping up to date with events and subject matters. But even more important is possessing an open minded view on the world, the ability to change your mind when data or information shifts and practise, practise, practise. Successful forecasters keep score on how well they perform and look to improve their skills each time.
Where can I try forecasting?
On almanis, it’s free to use and publicly available. You can participate by making a forecast, or just adding your comments to questions. You can even ask the crowd a question of your own. Depending on your accuracy you can be rewarded financially for your efforts on one of three leader boards and earn up to £1000 each month.
So, if you think you are not smart enough think again. Many together are smarter than the few.
Join today and for those of you wanting extra support just get in touch by clicking the ‘Contact Curator’ button once you have signed in.