艾西莫夫與大數據

科幻小說三大家之一的艾西莫夫(Isaac Asimov)在他的代表作之一《基地系列》建立的心理史學(Psychohistory),是一門結合數學與統計的理論,用來預測全銀河人類的命運。很多科幻迷認為,小說中的心理史學完美的預言了大數據的發展 。

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雖然是科幻,也要講求證據。艾西莫夫在 Foundation and Empire 解釋心理史學的特性的這段話,讓眾多科幻迷一口咬定心理史學講的就是大數據。

Psychohistory dealt not with man, but with man-masses. It was the science of mobs; mobs in their billions. It could forecast reactions to stimuli with something of the accuracy that a lesser science could bring to the forecast of a rebound of a billiard ball.

在資訊科技的進步促使大數據應用變成我們日常生活的一部分之後,這個看法一日一日加深(當然也有不同的看法,當撰文另敘之)。

The entire book in itself is built around predicting the future using data and statistics. This branch of science is called “psychohistory” which is basically projecting the faith of humanity. The book is full of hints and principles of how this science can and should be used.

甚至,有資料科學家從艾西莫夫的書中精煉出 7 data science principles introduced in Asimov’s Foundation ,這個由 Eszter Windhager-Pokol 1整理的七大原則是:

  1. Huge amount of data is needed to produce reliable results.
  2. The amount of data implicates that the analysis requires computers, manual computation is impractical.
  3. Simple predictive models could be refined by adding more fields into the analysis.
  4. The results of the predictions are given in percentages.
  5. Use confidence interval.
  6. Predictions for individuals are much less reliable.
  7. Predictions for near future are more accurate than predictions for far future.

  1. Akos SzakalyEszter Windhager-Pokol 都對這七大原則做了出處解釋和闡述,文字大同小益,我也分不出究竟誰才是原創了。 
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