At GFI, we work to advance the markets and technology for alternative proteins. So, as you can imagine, we think a lot about the many possible futures for alternative proteins. What percent of the global meat market will alternative proteins capture by 2030? How many governments will make large investments into open-access alternative protein R&D in the coming years? By what year will a plant-based meat product in each meat category pass the taste “Turing Test” by convincingly matching or exceeding the sensory experience of animal-based meat?
GFI has its opinions on these matters. However, our domain-specific knowledge, and the biases that accompany them, do not not always correspond with the best guesses of what that future might look like. For instance, if in 2016 you told us that by 2020 over $3 billion would be invested in alternative protein companies annually (representing a more than 15-fold increase in annual private sector investment from 2016 levels), we could have scarcely believed it.
AI insights for alternative proteins
But research shows that with the right incentives and feedback, groups of people can make remarkably accurate predictions on the probability of future events. This capability to accurately predict the probability of future events is occasionally apparent in financial markets, but can be extended to other areas of interest. This is why GFI is pleased to announce a partnership with Metaculus, a community of forecasters that marries human insights with AI to generate technology-augmented wisdom-of-the-crowd signals. Metaculus was formed with the goal of improving decision-making by soliciting, improving, and optimally aggregating quantitative predictions of future events.
The Metaculus community generates predictions about all sorts of things, from politics and macroeconomics to technologies and sports. Recently, the Metaculus community has exhibited remarkable prescience by making a variety of accurate predictions about the trajectory of COVID-19 variants of concern. As a result, public health organizations are approaching Metaculus to predict the trajectory of the virus and, importantly, make more informed public health decisions from the data.
Forecasting the future of the alt protein industry
Metaculus and GFI launched the Alt-Protein Forecasting Tournament on Earth Day this year to apply Metaculus’ powerful methodology to key questions about the future of alternative proteins. The tournament is free and open to everyone, whether you’re a first time forecaster or a seasoned prognosticator. We encourage you to flex your forecasting muscles and tell us what you think the future of alternative proteins will look like!
This is a compelling opportunity for community members to actively engage with important questions about alternative proteins. And the insights from the tournament won’t sit idly. These predictions are extremely useful data points for organizations like GFI, as well as commercial actors and governments, as we assess industry priorities and determine how to allocate limited resources to best advance the exciting future of alternative proteins.