Microsoft's Bing has correctly predicted the Super Bowl and World Cup winners; more recently Microsoft turned its attention to Sunday's Academy Awards. Bing and Microsoft Research teamed up to create a constantly updated Oscar predictions list leading up to last night's big awards show, and the duo proved pretty darn prescient.
The Oscar picks were based on a predictive model from Microsoft Research's David Rothschild. which took into account a variety of influencing factors on voting--including the controversial lack of nominations for critical favorite Selma--to predict the 2015 winners.
Bing didn't get a perfect score, but it did do incredibly well. Of the top 24 categories at this year's Oscars, Microsoft's Bing correctly predicted 20 winners for an 83 percent accuracy score, including all of the most prestigious Academy Award picks.
Why this matters: Unless you love wagering on football, Grammy, and Oscar winners, Bing's predictions may seem frivolous. But Microsoft sees it as a chance to prove the company's abilities to manipulate data sets. "The main goal is to show people that Bing algorithms and data itself is a pretty powerful force in terms of what we can do," said Walter Sun, who manages Bing's Core Ranking Team, in a Microsoft blog post last summer. "[These] things are an interesting way to show users that Bing has a lot of horsepower beyond just providing good search results."
The worst picks
Correct picks included all the big categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress. The four wrong predictions included Best Animated Feature, Best Foreign Language File, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
While Microsoft's 2015 predictions were pretty good, it wasn't the company's best showing. In 2014, Bing got 21 out of 24. The latest predictions did beat out 2013's Oscar predictions, when Bing got 19 out of 24 right.