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KBLA Polls

KBLA Polls: Crowdsourcing Predictions

If the goal is to predict the future, all of us are smarter than any one of us.

by Rodney J Johnson, KBLA

Aug. 24, 2020

In his book The Wisdom of Crowds, author James Surowiecki outlined how despite the reputation crowds may have for being “mad”, they can actually be quite intelligent, and in many cases, a crowd of non-experts can be more intelligent, on a particular issue, than any one expert.

The key to determining whether or not a crowd is going to produce a ‘wise‘ result or a poor one lies in whether or not the crowd members are influencing each other’s views on the question at hand. When they are not, each individual’s mistakes and biases are offset by those of the other members, so that, on average, the crowd’s response ends up being highly accurate. Often more accurate than that of an established expert.

This principle has been used at universities and think tanks to create prediction markets, where market players ‘invest’ in future outcomes based on their beliefs that these outcomes will come to pass. Asset prices rise and fall as the potential for an idea to come to pass rise and falls with new information and demand for that asset rises and falls accordingly. Through these markets, predictions about the future are effectively crowdsourced.

While KBLA has not built a fully-functional prediction market, we’re doing the next best thing. Our regular “One Question” polls will be used to gauge the opinions of the public, and KBLA members, on future-oriented questions of wide-interest. As we build recognition of the polls and gain more participation on questions, we can use the answers to make better decisions and better understand popular opinion and sentiment regarding business, economics, politics, and geopolitical issues that impact Korea.

We invite participation from the public, both in Korea and around the world, in order to gain a better understanding of the many difficult issues facing both Korea and the world today.

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