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Will someone in the U.S. be killed by a drone before 2018 is up?
There's something about drones – tiny little automated flying machines – that is simply fun, as attested to by their popularity around Christmas. And, there are lots of very useful things they can now do.
But of course, drones can also be a bit creepy, and there is a dark side. For instance, this miltary-educated blogger discusses havoc he could wreak with technology he could buy at Walmart or the Apple Store:
I’m holding a drone that can fly thousands of feet in air in less than 30 seconds, getting it to an altitude where no one could see it. My drone could be up in the air, ready to strike a target before you even had time to blink... It is not meant to take nice photos of my vacation. It is meant to strike. A small mechanism allows it to carry and drop a 2.5-pound payload — potentially grenades, bombs, even poison.
All of this action appears to be leading to a dark place. Even if large-scale military use does not occur (which is by no means clear), it seems inevitable that someone in the United States will eventually be killed by a drone.
Will that happen by end of 2018?
Question resolves positive if there's a substantiated news report of at least one death-by-drone on U.S. soil before January 1, 2019.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.