The role of digitalization and computing technologies in evolution of the principles of scientific forecast and everyday predictive activity

Pirozhkova, Sophia Vladislavovna
PhD in Philosophy, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Theories of Cognition, RAS Institute of Philosophy, Moscow, Russia

The report presents the results of a study of the importance of the development of computing technologies, digitalization and virtualization for the evolution of ways of perceiving the future and its development – cognitive and creative. It is shown that an important factor in changing the practices of working with the future in the 20th century, both specialized and characteristic of everyday cognition, was the development of quantitative forecasting, which became possible thanks to the progress of computing technologies. At the same time, if in the 1970s. it was recognized that quantitative forecasting has limits of applicability in social cognition and management of social processes, then by the beginning of the 2000s technological progress made it possible to use formalized methods where previously only non-formalized methods of expert forecasting worked. The reasons why this became possible are determined: thanks to the development of the Internet, as well as local information networks, social reality turned out to be presented and accessible for fixation. If before that it was possible to fix the moods of people, their opinions and positions affecting behavior, as well as various actions that act as markers of certain social trends, only by classical methods of empirical sociology, then the Internet and big data technologies allow us to fix these phenomena directly, avoiding subjective interpretations and distortions. The accumulation of large amounts of information allows you to create realistic functional and predictive models. Distortions associated with the fact that people can behave in a way different from their usual behavior on the web, and in general, in a way that they will not behave in real life, are increasingly being leveled due to the transfer of very many spheres of life to the digital environment. In this environment, people search for information, make purchases, interact with government agencies, conduct business and personal correspondence. All this becomes a source of a huge amount of data that can be processed and used for forecasting purposes. Great progress in this direction is due to big data processing technologies that allow us to identify stable and repetitive structures in the information flow. It is shown that an important factor in changing the perception of the future is the possibility of visualizing images of the future. The results of the analysis of the value of virtual reality as a method of working with the future, its construction and "mastering" − acquaintance with the prospects of development as a possible future and adaptation to it, accompanied by the design of the future of various fields of activity, as well as the personal future of individuals. Various approaches to the implementation of predictive tasks are systematized, special attention is paid to the estimated volume and specifics of those tasks that are supposed to be possible and expedient to transfer to artificial systems. The anthropological and socio-cultural consequences and prospects of such a distribution of predictive functions between artificial and natural intelligence are critically analyzed.

Keywords: prediction, forecasting, designing the future, predictive practices, computing technologies, digitalization, artificial intelligence, virtual reality

The research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the Project "The latest trends in the development of human and social sciences in the context of the digitalization and new social problems and threats: an interdisciplinary approach", No. 075-15-2020-798.