Predicting the Future: Anticipating the World with Data

Moderated by: Drew Conway
Disruption & Opportunity
Location: Mission City M
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 13 ratings)

Data doesn’t just show us the past—it can help predict the future. Several new firms harvest massive amounts of open data, trying to anticipate everything the right ad placement to the next terrorist attack. In this session, we bring together the founders of these firms to discuss the technology—and ethics—of looking into the future.

Photo of Drew Conway

Drew Conway


Drew Conway, CEO and founder of Alluvium, is a leading expert in the application of computational methods to social and behavioral problems at large-scale. Drew has been writing and speaking about the role of data — and the discipline of data science — in industry, government, and academia for several years.

Drew has advised and consulted companies across many industries; ranging from fledgling start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, as well as academic institutions and government agencies at all levels. Drew started his career in counter-terrorism as a computational social scientist in the U.S. intelligence community.

Christopher Ahlberg

Recorded Future

Christopher Ahlberg is the CEO of Recorded Future, Inc., and is an
independent director of Hult International Business School (Education),
Apptus AB (Software), and Fina Technologies (Hedge fund), and advises
a series of start up companies. Earlier Ahlberg was the president of
the Spotfire Division of TIBCO, which he founded as an independent
company in 1996 and in 2007 sold to TIBCO (Nasdaq: TIBX) for $195M in
cash. Spotfire was founded based on his ground-breaking research on
information visualization. Dr. Ahlberg earned his doctorate from Chalmers
University of Technology, has worked as a visiting researcher at
the University of Maryland, and has lectured and consulted extensively
for industry, academia, military, and intelligence communities – as
well as published & lectured in computer science, psychology, linguistics,
biology, and chemistry. He has two granted software patents,
and multiple patents pending. Dr. Ahlberg was named among the World’s
Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s Magazine of
Innovation in 2002.

Photo of Robert McGrew

Robert McGrew

Palantir Technologies

Robert McGrew is a Director of Engineering at Palantir. Robert is responsible for the architecture, user interface, and overall product direction of the government product. Prior to Palantir, Robert was a PhD candidate in computer science at Stanford, where he published papers on artificial intelligence, algorithmic game theory, and reputation systems. He has also been a software engineer at PayPal where he designed and implemented systems to cryptographically secure sensitive customer data in fraud processing and complaint resolution.

Photo of Rion Snow

Rion Snow


Rion Snow leads a team building relevance and discovery technologies at Twitter. Before joining Twitter, he pioneered award-winning research in natural language processing, machine learning, and human computation. Rion received his Ph.D in Computer Science from Stanford, his B.A. in Mathematics from UCSD, and has previously worked for numerous research labs and startups, including Google Research, Microsoft Research, and Powerset.

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12/15/2011 6:54pm PST

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11/29/2011 2:44am PST

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Mikael Huss
02/05/2011 6:16am PST

One of the best sessions of the conference.

Picture of Ben Gimpert
Ben Gimpert
02/05/2011 3:11am PST

An excellent set of presentations that deserved a much longer session.


  • Thomson Reuters
  • EMC Data Computing Division
  • EnterpriseDB
  • Microsoft
  • Gnip
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • IBM
  • Windows Azure MarketPlace DataMarket
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Aster Data
  • Cloudera
  • Clustrix
  • DataStax, Inc. (formerly Riptano, Inc.)
  • Digital Reasoning Systems
  • Heritage Provider Network
  • Impetus
  • Jaspersoft
  • Karmasphere
  • LinkedIn
  • MarkLogic
  • Pentaho
  • Pervasive
  • Revolution Analytics
  • Splunk
  • Urban Mapping
  • Wolfram|Alpha
  • Esri
  • ParAccel
  • Tableau Software

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