The goal would require gathering unprecedented amounts of information about the planet and its societies
A world rife with burst economic bubbles and the threat of global pandemics might look more manageable through the prism of a giant SimEarth-style model that puts even Google Earth's overviews to shame. The proposed "Living Earth Simulator" would aim to model both Earth and the details of its societies in detail by 2022, at the cost of about $1.3 billion, Technology Review reports.
Such "reality mining" would track everything from financial transactions to individual travel itineraries, from medical records to carbon dioxide emissions. If computer modelers can pull off the feat of simulating not only the planet's systems but also every one of its inhabitants, it could potentially lead to simulating the future in a way similar to how weather forecasters predict the weather.