The PJ Tatler

Did Google see the Egypt unrest coming?

Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East, Wael Ghonim, was in Egypt shortly after unrest began, and has become a spokesman for the opposition. And last year the search giant did invest in a company that scours the web to predict the future.

The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.”

The idea is to figure out for each incident who was involved, where it happened and when it might go down. Recorded Future then plots that chatter, showing online “momentum” for any given event.

“The cool thing is, you can actually predict the curve, in many cases,” says company CEO Christopher Ahlberg, a former Swedish Army Ranger with a PhD in computer science.

Read the rest, to see that both Google and the CIA are investing in the same company. It’s a spooky read.