Prof Philip Tetlock is a social science legend. Over forty years he has researched whose forecasts we can trust, whose we can’t and why – and developed methods that allow all of us to be better at predicting the future.
After the Iraq WMDs fiasco, the US intelligence services hired him to figure out how to ensure they’d never screw up that badly again. The result of that work – Superforecasting – was a media sensation in 2015.
It described Tetlock’s Good Judgement Project, which found forecasting methods so accurate they beat everyone else in open competition, including thousands of people in the intelligence services with access to classified information.
Today he’s working to develop the best forecasting process ever by combining the best of human and machine intelligence in the Hybrid Forecasting Competition, which you can start participating in now to sharpen your own judgement.
In this interview we describe his key findings and then push to the edge of what’s known about how to foresee the unforeseeable:
- Should people who want to be right just adopt the views of experts rather than apply their own judgement?
- Why are Berkeley undergrads worse forecasters than dart-throwing chimps?
- Should I keep my political views secret, so it will be easier to change them later?
- How can listeners contribute to his latest cutting-edge research?
- What do we know about our accuracy at predicting low-probability high-impact disasters?