“Game theory is a transparent form of logic that, with data, can predict the future,” according to Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, the Council’s speaker on October 26 and author of the recent book The Predictioneer’s Game. Bueno de Mesquita said his models, which have a 90 percent accuracy rate, require four basic pieces of information to make a prediction about a given group or person’s likely actions: What does it say it wants? How important is that issue? How resolved is it in its opinion? How much clout does it bring to the table?
Responding to an audience member’s question, Bueno de Mesquita spoke about the ways policies can be shaped by a prediction as well as the ways the model itself can use different variables to simulate more positive outcomes. While his computer model may not be 100 percent accurate, Bueno de Mesquita was quick to point out that it performs much better than a team of analysts because of its greatly increased capacity to crunch a large set of numbers.
You can hear the full program at our online archive. If you would like to try Bueno de Mesquita’s model, you can use a trial version on his website at www.PredictioneersGame.com. To learn more about Bueno de Mesquita’s predictions, including those about the upcoming Copenhagen summit, check out his article in the current issue of Foreign Policy. Remember that becoming a member of the Council entitles you to a free subscription to Foreign Policy magazine.