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December 30, 2013

The Future of the Hyperlink




 Future Trends
Scott Cunningham worked in the computer and software industry, creating analytical models for commercial clients like AT&T. He is interested in operations research and decision sciences approaches for policy making. In particular he is interested in statistical analytics of social exchange. Now he uses these analytics to predict the future.





Scott Cunningham worked in the computer and software industry, creating analytical models for commercial clients like AT&T. He is interested in operations research and decision sciences approaches for policy making. In particular he is interested in statistical analytics of social exchange.

Cunningham jokes that Big Data might be his fault. He began his career at telephone service provider AT&T, where he focused on using data to improve customer experiences. Now he wants to use data to predict the future.

According to Cunningham, we live in a world that is filled with networks. Those networks have a lot of information we could use to predict the future. We need to gain the wisdom of the crowds and monitor the networks to find the patterns and use those patterns to find new information.

Nanotech publication exponential growth
As Cunningham and Porter illustrate, finding exponential growth rates in subject matter publication can reveal future trends.  This chart shows the growth in publications relating to nanotechnology research.  Image Source:  Cunningham and Porter, Tech Mining
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His most recent publication, Tech Mining: Exploiting New Technologies for Competitive Advantage, co-written with Alan Porter, focuses on the prediction of new technologies.

Cunningham has found that current networks, like Google, are just reinforcing existing patterns. He talks of how these patterns are essentially top-down hierarchys that reinforce who the thought leaders are.

Cunningham views a future where machine learning will assist in the development of new ideas by cutting through the hierarchy of  today's hyperlinks and build connections across them.


SOURCE  TEDx Talks

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