Web Bot is an Internet Bot computer program whose developers claim is able to predict future events by tracking keywords entered on the internet. It was developed in 1997, originally to predict stock market trends. The creator of the Web Bot Project, Clif High, along with his associate George Ure, keep the technology and algorithms largely secret and sell the predictions via the website.
Internet bots monitor news articles, blogs, forums, and other forms of Internet chatter. Words in the lexicon are assigned numeric values for emotional quantifiers such as duration, impact, immediacy, intensity, and others. The lexicon is dynamic, and changes according to shifts in emotional tension, and how humans communicate those changes using the Internet. As of 2008, there were about 300,000 keywords in the lexicon, along with emotional context which are fed into a computer-generated modelspace. However, many believe the predictions are vague and, at best, pseudoscientific.
- Northeast Blackout of 2003
- 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
- Hurricane Katrina and its devastation
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- A massive earthquake in Vancouver, Canada and the Pacific Northwest was predicted to occur on 12 December 2008.
- The US dollar completely collapses, or Israel bombs Iran in 2011. In reaction to this crisis, administration of U.S. President Barack Obama will be thrown into major chaos ten days later.
- Major catastrophe in 2012 – The Web Bot gained most of its notoriety for contributing to the 2012 phenomenon by predicting a cataclysm that would devastate the planet on 21 December 2012, possibly a reversing of Earth's magnetic poles or a small series of nuclear attacks leading up to a major attack during the year. The prediction did not call for a complete end of the world.
The History Channel has discussed Web Bot in its special Doomsday 2012 and on other shows like Nostradamus Effect which feature predictions about the end of the world. A Globe and Mail journalist noted that "What interests me more than the bot's accuracy (of which I'm skeptical), is the relentless negativity of its projections. According to the bot, the future is always bleak and steadily worsening." Tom Chivers in the Daily Telegraph notes three criticisms of the project: "the internet might plausibly reveal group knowledge about the stock market or, conceivably, terror attacks [but] it would be no more capable of predicting a natural disaster than would a Google search, ... the predictions are so vague as to be meaningless, [and] the prophecies become self-distorting."
- Chivers, Tom (24 September 2009). "'Web-bot project' makes prophecy of 2012 apocalypse". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 4 October 2009.
- Shamah, David (23 December 2008). "Digital World: I have seen the future, and it's on the Web". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
- "Web Bot, What is it? Can it Predict Stuff?". Daily Common Sense.
- Menon, Vinay (16 April 2008). "Decoding the End of Days". Toronto Star. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- "World's expiry date: 21 December 2012?". NewKerala.com. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
- "‘Web-bot project’ makes prophecy of 2012 apocalypse". Ethiopian Review. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
- Taylor, Timothy (January 2009). "Vanwaterworld? Hold the Armageddon talk". Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved 4 October 2009.
- "The Market's Current Psychological Map". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- "World’s expiry date: 21 December 2012?". ExpressIndia. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
- "2012 Disaster Film Director Admits he Scared Himself". The Epoch Times. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- "El Nostradamus virtual (in Spanish)". El Día. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- "History TV Shows". History.com. Retrieved 4 January 2012.