Everyday we hear about a new poll, we read a new study, we’re told about new statistics that show how every piece of data that describes us alters our future: how the food we eat, the cigarettes we smoke, where we live, our gender, our age, our car make is going to alter predictions about our future life, the money we earn, the time of our death. What we wanted to do is show people what changes what and by what amount. We wanted to give users the opportunity to see how their data defines who they are for systems. We wanted to let people be the system in a way, and ultimately play with it. Predictive World is an online experience that reveals what a powerful, all-seeing algorithm can predict about an individual based on their online footprint, public information and Facebook ‘Likes’.
Built in collaboration with the Psychometrics Centre of the University of Cambridge, Predictive World processes your digital footprint to scientifically calculate over 60 predictions on what you are and even what you’ll most likely be. It is based on a custom database of 6.4 billion information (from sources like the UN, WHO, World Bank, OECD) and specially built algorithms that identify personalities in social media behavior. After 8 months of development, Predictive World was launched on November 10, 2016.
Predictive World was made available on a website for the EMEA area. It passed the million visits mark in the first 10 days, with a staggering average of 5 minutes spent exploring the predictions. Predictive World also got press coverage on multiple top-tier mainstream and specialized medias (The Next Web, Wired, Prosthetic Knowledge, Konbini, etc.).
The dangers of Big Data and predictive algorithms are themes at the heart of the narrative of Ubisoft’s upcoming open world action-adventure game Watch Dogs 2. The hero, Marcus Holloway, is wrongly profiled as a potential criminal by a city-wide operating system collecting & analysing data on every citizen. Therefore, it was clear from the beginning that data should be at the core of our creative concept. Harvesting the data was our main concern, so we partnered with the Psychometrics Centre of the University of Cambridge to help collect, gather and clean the necessary information. Initial predictions are made on the basis of age, gender and location by a series of calls to large databases that were constructed specifically for Predictive World. Psychological predictions are generated via a set of proprietary algorithms from the Psychometrics Centre that were calibrated for the experience.