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An artificial intelligence take on 2018

This year will be less less risky than 2017, according to an AI-driven forecast, mainly because the world is already accustomed to the volatility created by Brexit and Donald Trump, and nothing like their rattling victories is likely to recur.

Reproduced from GeoQuant; Chart: Axios Visuals

Mark Rosenberg, the CEO of GeoQuant, whose forecasts combine AI-driven data and analysis by political scientists, says last year was much more volatile than 2015 or 2016. But since the world has already taken stock of Brexit and Trump, that makes those lower risks in 2018, according to GeoQuant's report.

  • And the world is unlikely to be broadsided by anything as dramatic this year. "There is a stabilization effect by virtue of last year's uniqueness," he said. "You do get a relative reduction of risk, leaving it at a high level. There is more stability in an unstable world."

Here are some geopolitical forecasts from Rosenberg's bot and analysts:

  • Russia's Vladimir Putin will lay low as far as foreign adventures go, and stick to winning a decisive re-election in March before cracking down on perceived disloyal elites.
  • China's Xi Jinping, too, will generally not seek to capitalize on perceived U.S. geopolitical weakness—he won't make a dramatic power grab in the South China Sea or Taiwan. Rather, Xi will spend a conservative year of consolidating what's already been gained.
  • Democrats are favored in the U.S. midterm elections, but the data is inconclusive at this stage as to who will control Congress. The GOP and Trump are 6.5% weaker than the Democrats were at the time of the November 2016 election, but 2% stronger than when Democrat Doug Jones won an upset in the Alabama Senate election last month. For comparison, about 15% would indicate heavy weakness.

And in business:

  • Stock market gains are unlikely to be as strong this year as in 2017, when the S&P 500 rose by 19% and the Dow by 25%.
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