Forecasting is a tricky business, but Nesta isn’t backing down from the human-versus-machine battle.
Forecasting is a fool’s errand, so why we do fallible humans persist in trying to peer into an uncertain future, especially when machines are outpacing us on so many other predictive tasks?
People who should have known much better dismissed the telephone, the car and, famously, the Beatles as fads. That’s because discerning the difference between a flash in the pan and a truly disruptive development is a very tricky art with a long and chequered history. As far back as Nostradamus in the 16th Century, we have long been drawn to the tantalizing idea that we can control an uncertain future by predicting it. While this sense of control might be illusory, it is true that sketching out possible futures is the first step in creating a desired one.