Forget 2015: Bing already knows which people, products and trends will win next year

Forget 2015: Bing already knows which people, products and trends will win next year

Microsoft's Bing thinks it knows the album of the year, the Golden Globe winners, and even the fashion trends of 2015.

Denim tuxedos and turtlenecks, the New England Patriots, Boyhood and Iggy Azalea. What do they all have in common? Microsoft's Bing predicts they'll win their respective categories in 2015.

Fresh off of a 2014 where Microsoft's Bing predictive search technology picked (and pretty much nailed) the winners of the World Cup, the company has gone big for 2015. On Wednesday, Microsoft predicted the Grammy winners, which movies will win the Golden Globes, food and fashion trends, and which team will win the Super Bowl.

Pollsters like Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog and Microsoft Bing have discovered that social signals as much as anything are useful predictors of outcomes, even those that theoretically could go either way. Microsoft looked at historical data to predict World Cup games, mixing in oddsmaker's predictions for the games as well as its predictions for NFL football.

For purely social trends, the problem would seem to be simpler: Anonymously sniff through social feeds and compile a list of trends. Microsoft said it compiled its data via "search signals, social and cultural signals and more."

Microsoft compiled its predictions across eight categories: awards, designers, fashion, food, football, technology, travel, and wearables. In each, Bing picked the top ten winners, some of which varied by geographical region.

Awards:  Microsoft picked Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" to take home the Grammy for Record of the Year, followed by Beyonce's self-titled work as album of the year. Boyhood and Birdman will win the Golden Globes, Bing thinks, while Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Eddie Redmayne, and Michael Keaton will all pick up acting awards.

Football:  The New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl (again), while Alabama will win the NCAA championship, beating Florida State.

Technology:  Here, Bing gets a little fuzzier. Wearable devices will become a "must-have fashion accessory," according to Bing, followed by digital personal assistants like Cortana and then home automation.

Wearables: And who will take home the wearables crown in 2015? Not the Microsoft Band. Microsoft said the Apple Watch would prevail, followed by the Samsung Gear and FitBit devices.

Fashion:  Turtlenecks, denim tuxedos (?!!) and belted scarves will top 2015's fashion trends. A quick poll of more sartorially inclined PCWorld staffers confirmed turtlenecks are a thing, as are belted scarves. But denim tuxedos?

Food: The Mediterranean diet will be the hot trend of next year, with hummus, falafel, and baklava topping the Bing charts. Number four? Meatloaf.

Travel:  The hot destinations aren't necessarily the big metropolises, with Los Angeles and New York City way down in Bing's estimation. After New Orleans and San Diego, Bing predicts the hot destination will be--obviously--Pigeon Forge, Tenn., home of the Dolly Parton theme park, or Dollywood.

Designers:  Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors. Get 'em while they're hot.

Why this matters: Predictive technology is something Google has become known for, so publishing a list like this helps establish Microsoft as the go-to destination for predictive technology. Plus it gives us something to talk and argue about at the end of the year!

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