The world’s healthcare experts haven’t been able to give us a definitive date as to when a coronavirus vaccine will finally come to market—for obvious reasons. There are a variety of vaccine formulas being tested on human subjects as you read this, but the researchers will have to test many different formulas and different dosages of each formula, and evaluate the impact on the immune systems of a significant number of test subjects.
Is there a better way to predict when all of this will lead to fruition? Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairperson of the XPRIZE Foundation and author of Abundance—The Future Is Better Than You Think, who also holds degrees in aerospace engineering and molecular genetics from MIT and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, turned to technology to solve the prediction problem. He created a FutureLoop web platform and asked 3,000 experts to predict the date when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would approve the first Covid-19 vaccine. Then he used machine learning and human intelligence in a symbiotic loop to analyze and hone the results, on the theory that crowdsourced predictions that are thoroughly evaluated by artificial intelligence will provide better predictions than any individual.
The result? The FutureLoop process predicted a vaccine approval date 8.64 months from now, by December 19, 2020. Interestingly, roughly 29% of the polled experts believe that the vaccine will be out in six months, by September 30.