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4/22/2014
10:06 AM
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Microsoft Bing Enters Prediction Business

Microsoft claims Bing can predict the future, but it is starting out with soft questions like who will win The Voice.

Bing now predicts the outcome of The Voice and other TV competitions (Image credit: Microsoft)
Bing now predicts the outcome of The Voice and other TV competitions (Image credit: Microsoft)

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AnnFeeney
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AnnFeeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/23/2014 | 8:42:28 AM
Re: Seems smart
With sporting events, solo sports (the closest equivalent to The Voice) will be relatively easy compared to team sports. Each additional player introduces so many more variables. In one sense, though, most sports are easier to calculate because there's an established ordinal definition of winning. In artistic performances, so many of the measures are subjective.

At some point, the system for predicting the winner of the Voice could become so fine-tuned that it could predict the winner from the first perfomance. A sufficiently advanced neural net, given enough data, should be able to do it. Perhaps in the near future, one of the judges would be a computer interface. (I'm imagining a kind of Kirk-Spock-McCoy face off, with the human McCoy snarling at the Spock interface that music is about human emotions, not algorithms.)

Studio executives would probably be delighted to have a system that could be applied to audition tapes, YouTube, and so on. 
Shane M. O'Neill
50%
50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
4/22/2014 | 2:53:05 PM
Re: Seems smart
Sports bets are notoriously difficult to get right consistently -- even with all the data on the table. I'm not convinced an analysis of Bing search queries and Facebook and Twitter data would help predict that shocking NFL playoff upset. But I'll take it over my own lazy research, which usually consists of listening to a podcast and skimming a few articles. If Bing can give betters an edge, it could disrupt an industry. Vegas definitely will not be happy.
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
4/22/2014 | 11:18:30 AM
Seems smart
This plan lets MS hone and tune its predictive tool on prognistications that don't matter in the long run (except to the singers being eliminated!) while also getting some mainstream publicity. It'll be interesting to see what the Vegas odds-makers think of the effort, especially once it branches out to sporting events.
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