Google Flu Trends

It's been a nasty flu season this year. So we were remembering a story from a few years back (but not covered yet on this podcast) about when Google tried to predict flu outbreaks faster than the Centers for Disease Control by monitoring searches and looking for spikes in searches for flu symptoms, doctors appointments, and other related terms. It's a cool idea, but after a few years turned into a cautionary tale of what can go wrong after Google's algorithm systematically overestimated flu incidence for almost 2 years straight. Relevant link: https://gking.harvard.edu/publications/parable-google-flu%C2%A0traps-big-data-analysis

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