Originally posted by whodey
Can computers predict the future? If you think about it, if you knew all the information there is to know, you should be able to predict the future. If we can then use a computer, that is able to compute large amounts of data, can they better predict the future than we can?
We can predict the movement of planets hundreds of years in advance with a fair amount of accuracy, we can predict how much longer the sun has left before it it's fuel runs out, and even predict when Andromeda will collide with our own galaxy.
Human societies are trickier to make predictions about, especially since the last 100 years, when technology and civilization has exponentially advanced. There are machines that predict whether a song will be a pop-hit or not (though I doubt they're used much), and we can predict (if not the winner) how close an election will be with consistent results. We can predict human population growth as well.
The natural world can be calculated with reliable accuracy (even the weather can be forcast 7 days in advance), and there are increasing amounts of predictions made about human cultures based on many continuing studies.
To what degree computers will be able to predict the future is unknown; but there are a lot of intriguing possibilities, some of which we may be surprised at being able to predict well.