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by Michael Aird, Staff Researcher at Rethink Priorities

In 1941, no one had ever built a nuclear weapon, and most people had no idea that anyone ever might. Over the following 80 years, the Allies built such weapons, the US detonated two on cities, and scientists and engineers developed or proposed many new and vastly more destructive types of nuclear weapons. Global stockpiles peaked at 70,000 warheads (compared to today’s ~13,000), and the total yield of the US arsenal alone peaked at over a million times the yield of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

In 2021, nine states are believed…

by Gaia Dempsey, CEO at Metaculus

Last fall, we introduced a question series on Metaculus focused on US Economic Indicators and began launching monthly (or in some cases quarterly) questions on six of the most cited macroeconomic indicators.

This was an experiment — led by Metaculus moderator and team member Alyssa Stevens — to find out how these forecasts would perform, build up a dataset for analysis, and see if we could ultimately learn from the experience to create a valuable set of tools for financial and economic forecasting. We also wanted to compare Metaculus’ performance directly to others forecasting…

by Gaia Dempsey, CEO, Metaculus

April was a busy month at Metaculus. We updated our tournament scoring rules, designed and launched the Forecasting Causes framework, and released two Cause-related tournaments — an Alt-Meat forecasting initiative with the Good Food Institute and the Keep Virginia Safe Tournament in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.

For much of May, we’ve been working on a major site redesign. (Yes, you read that right.) The main goals of the redesign are:

  1. Mobile-Friendliness: First, we want to make Metaculus a mobile-friendly place. …

Reputation-Based Community Forecasting on the Trajectory of COVID-19 Cases, Vaccines, and Interventions to Support the Development of Science-Informed Policy

by Gaia Dempsey, CEO, Metaculus

Over a year into the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic, the World Health Organization’s World Immunization Week this year holds special significance as over a dozen new COVID-19 vaccines have received government authorization and are being widely distributed in communities around the world.

At this crucial time for key decisions in public health policy, Metaculus and the Virginia Department of Health are partnering to launch a new initiative, the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament, which will be hosted within a Metaculus Forecasting Cause initiative focused on Healthy Communities.

The Virginia Department of Health is the government agency…

By Juan Cambeiro, Analyst at Metaculus

In February 2021 we provided an update on COVID-19, outlining how the new variants would shape this next phase of the pandemic. Indeed, the story of the pandemic since then has largely been of a race between vaccinations and the spread of worrisome variants.

We have learned a lot about the variants since February, and relevant forecasts on Metaculus have been updated by our community accordingly. Overall, the information that has emerged paints a mostly optimistic picture: most of our vaccines induce robust and broad immune responses and work well against most of the…

Metaculus and the Good Food Institute Launch the Alternative Protein Tournament to Forecast the Global Transformation of Protein Production and Consumption

by Gaia Dempsey, CEO at Metaculus

Alt-Protein Forecasting Tournament, Launching April 22, 2021. Happy Earth Day!

Metaculus as an organization strives to combine the best aspects of scientific culture and applied innovation culture. We deeply respect and value insight derived from data, as well as that intuited by human judgement, and we continually seek to use one to inform the other toward ever-increasing degrees of insight accuracy.

We’re now excited beyond measure to be able to contribute these capabilities in the quest to solve global challenges.

Since 1970, communities…

Introducing Fortified Essays & Incentive-Compatible Kelly Strategy for Metaculus Tournaments

by Gaia Dempsey, CEO, and Max Wainwright, CTO of Metaculus

Baseline Forecast Accuracy

Operating since 2014, the Metaculus platform elicits and aggregates full-distribution probabilistic predictions. Six years later, with the Metaculus forecasting community having made over 500,000 individual predictions on more than 4,000 topics, we can confidently say that the ensemble forecasts produced demonstrate consistent high quality on average, evaluated both in terms of accuracy and calibration. …

by Gaia Dempsey, CEO at Metaculus

Interested in boosting good forecasts for altruistic causes? Metaculus is launching Forecasting Causes to support nonprofit partnerships.

At Metaculus, our aim is to improve human decision making and coordination at scale by improving and increasing the analytic capacity, reasoning, and judgment of individuals and organizations. We tackle this problem in two ways: by designing multi-stakeholder ecosystems with positive-sum incentives, and by investing in the AI capabilities and technology infrastructure needed to increase trustworthiness, accuracy, and transparency.

Our combined toolkit and community generate a technology-augmented wisdom-of-the-crowd signal. The resulting datasets and insights are increasingly used to meaningfully solve real-world, high-impact problems. …

By Anthony Aguirre, Co-founder at Metaculus

On Metaculus, thousands of forecasters have submitted hundreds of thousands of forecasts on thousands of questions over the last six years. We pride ourselves in keeping score and transparently reporting the accuracy of every forecast made on our platform.

Given some discussion of it in the community, we thought it would be useful to provide a primer on how the Scoring Rule on Metaculus works, and its current benefits and shortcomings. We have some ideas for future changes, but we’ll get to those in a later post.

First, let’s explore how the Scoring Rule…

By Juan Cambeiro, Analyst at Metaculus

On 24 January 2020 — just over a year ago — Metaculus user @traviswfisher wrote an astoundingly prescient comment on a question asking whether the world population would increase every year between 2016 and 2025: “The Wuhan Coronavirus is looking like a pandemic event that could be serious enough to threaten this outcome.” …


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