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Microsoft nailed its Oscar predictions this year

by Jacob Kleinman | February 23, 2015February 23, 2015 10:00 pm PDT

oscars

Want to know who’s going to win the Super Bowl or the current season of your favorite reality TV show? Microsoft Bing has a pretty solid track record when it comes to predicting the future, including award shows like last night’s Oscars.

In a blog post published earlier this month, Microsoft researcher David Rothschild offered up a full list of predictions for the popular movie awards. He didn’t get a perfect score, missing on four out of 24 categories. However, when it came to the biggest awards, Microsoft’s technology came through.

The company was able to accurately predict the winners for best film (Birdman), best director (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman), best actress (Julianne Moore, Still Alice), best actor (Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything), best supporting actress (Patricia Arquette, Boyhood) and best supporting actor (J.K. Simmons, Whiplash).

Microsoft’s model took public opinion into account, assuming it would influence Oscar voters. It also considered controversy around the Academy’s decision to not nominate Selma director Ava DuVernay and The Lego Movie. “Whenever I create predictions I focus on several attributes beyond accuracy, including flexibility, scalability, and timeliness,” Rothschild added.

At the end of the night Microsoft was down slightly from 2014, when it accurately predicted 21 of the show’s 24 winners. Still, when it comes time to make your Oscar pool bets a year from now, it’ll probably be worth taking the company’s predictions to heart.

Microsoft The Verge

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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