Microsoft correctly predicted many of the winners 87th annual Academy Awards

Microsoft’s search engine Bing made correct predictions in many categories at the Oscars this year, including Best Picture and Best Director. Economist David Rothschild was one of the Microsoft team members who correctly predicted about 84% of the 24 categories with only four incorrect predictions. Rothschild often uses data to make predictions for Microsoft. Two years ago, he correctly predicted 21 out of 24 winners. Even more impressive was the correct predictions he made during the 2012 election when he got 50 of the 51 states and territories correct.

Microsoft Corporation Correctly Predicted 87th Oscar Winners

This year’s list of Oscar winners include Birdman (Best Film), Eddie Redmayne (Best Actor), Julianne Moore (Best Actress) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu (Best Director).

Microsoft makes correct Oscar winner predictions

Rothschild shared an interesting note when he explained that although the highly-acclaimed film Selma wasn’t up for this year’s Oscar nominations, it still had a unique effect on predictions. He said as the controversy remained a focus in the past few weeks, they had to take into consideration on how it would affect the votes. According to Rothschild, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has a complex voting structure, enabling subsets of voters who nominate specific categories while voting for winners in other categories.

The voting started Feb. 15 and lasted until Oscar night. It is interesting to make predictions with shifting sentiments. Rothschild explained that he keeps his focus on things like flexibility and timeliness. Not surprisingly, the latter is the hardest.

Rothschild talks prediction methods

One method used in making predictions is following by public opinion to see if that impacts votes. He added that public opinion loosely relates to the big event. Expectations are in line with popularity and recognition.

He further explained how hard it is to match public opinion to different categories. There are not very many alternatives to express the disapproval of the nominations. This is the main reason Rothschild maintains a focus on markets for prediction. These markets work by following a small group of people with accurate knowledge of the voters and wage bets on predictions. The prediction market forecasts are often accurate, which explains the success of previous market predictions.