Pro Forecasters: What they do and why they're an important part of INFER Public

Feb 02, 2022 04:49PM UTC

INFER has officially launched the 2022 Pro Forecaster Program in which top forecasters are paid for dedicating a certain amount of time every month to forecasting. Pro Forecasters participate in training, collaborate on teams with other Pros, and are invited to exclusive events. A majority of this season’s Pros have already been selected based on their accuracy and participation during Foretell’s past season – and we are in the process of notifying participants and forming the new cohort. In addition, we are accepting applications for 10-15 additional Pros who have proven their forecasting skills on other platforms such as Metaculus or Good Judgment Open.

On the platform, you can spot Pros by looking out for this badge:

The Pro Forecaster Program began under CSET Foretell in 2021 with 50 Pros. Due to its success, INFER is making an investment to double its size and dedicate more resources to making it an even more valuable part of the INFER program at large. So how did the Pros actually do in 2021?

How the Pros performed in 2021

The 2021 Pros contributed significantly to last season in both raw participation and accuracy. They were the most active subset of forecasters on Foretell, contributing 45% of overall forecasts and providing 10,000+ high-quality rationales despite being only a small percentage of the overall forecast population. They frequently discussed forecast questions with each other and shared resources to deepen their understanding of the subjects discussed.

Pros were more accurate than the broader Foretell crowd in 2021, outperforming them with some of the largest margins on topics such as China & Tech and Tech & International Relations. These categories included questions, such as “How many of the top chip makers in China will be subject to new export controls in 2021?” and “Will the U.S. government cancel or shorten the 24-month STEM extension to the Optional Practical Training program by July 17, 2020?”

The Pro vs. crowd comparison is shown in the table below in the last column (Pro Difference). To calculate accuracy, we use a measure called the relative Brier score. It quantifies the error associated with forecasts, so a lower score indicates less error and higher accuracy as bolded in the table. 

What's new for 2022

The new cohort of 100 Pros under INFER will include returning Pros, new Pros who demonstrated higher-than-average accuracy and engagement on Foretell’s last season, and a small number of “at-large” additions. Here are some highlights of what the program will entail this season:

  • Earned compensation of $200 per month for dedicating 8-10 hours per month making forecasts, with new opportunities for additional Pro rewards throughout the year;
  • Exclusive training opportunities to improve forecasting and rational thinking skills;
  • Direct access to the INFER program team to provide feedback and beta test new technologies; and
  • Invitations to special events curated only for Pros, such as ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions with current and former high-level U.S. Government officials.

How you can become a Pro

There are two ways you can become a Pro:

  1. We have reserved ~10-15 spots for new Pros who were not previously forecasters on Foretell. If you’re interested in becoming a Pro Forecaster on INFER and have demonstrated forecasting skills on a similar forecasting sites such as Metaculus or Good Judgement Open, please apply. We are currently accepting applicants for a short time while we fill the remaining spots on the team.
  2. “Pro-Starter Award” this season. This is a recognition for non-Pros who demonstrate higher-than-average accuracy and engagement on INFER. Pro-Starter Awards will be given out at the half-way point (July) and the end of the season (December). Earning a Pro-Starter Award gives you a good chance of being invited on as a Pro - either in 2022 to backfill any openings on this year’s team, or for next season’s.

All Pros will begin this month, and we will continue to provide updates as the program continues.

To keep up with the latest INFER updates, follow us on Twitter @INFERpub!

By Henry Tolchard and Vanessa Pineda
Forecaster Engagement
INFER Team | Cultivate Labs

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