Limits to Prediction

With enough data and the right algorithms does everything become predictable?


Is everything predictable given enough data and powerful algorithms? This seminar explores that question through social science and computer science research in many domains including life trajectories of individuals, geopolitical events, weather, disease outbreaks, social media and, somewhat speculatively, artificial general intelligence. We aim to identify fundamental limits, learn about common pitfalls, and explore policy implications. Coursework is a mix of reading and empirical work tailored to students’ backgrounds. The course is designed to facilitate publishable student research in both social science and computer science.

Learning objectives

For people who can’t take this course

If you are interested in these topics but can’t enroll in this course (e.g., because you are not a student at Princeton) you can still: