Researchers have created software that predicts when and where disease outbreaks might occur based on two decades of New York Times articles and other online data. The research comes from Microsoft and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
The system could someday help aid organizations and others be more proactive in tackling disease outbreaks or other problems, says Eric Horvitz, distinguished scientist and codirector at Microsoft Research. “I truly view this as a foreshadowing of what’s to come,” he says. “Eventually this kind of work will start to have an influence on how things go for people.” Horvitz did the research in collaboration with Kira Radinsky, a PhD researcher at the Technion-Israel Institute.