Microsoft Research and Office team up to predict the 2013 Oscar winners

The 85th annual Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on February 24th and many of us who will be watching it on TV will try to see if Seth MacFarlane can pull off the always hard hosting duties. Some other folks are waiting to see of all six James Bond movie actors might show up on stage at once, as the rumor mill claims.

However, some people who watch the Oscars will in fact be interested in seeing who wins the awards. Among them is David Rothschild of Microsoft Research, who is using his data analysis work to try to predict the winners later this month. Microsoft says that he has also teamed up with the Office division to release an Excel app for Office 2013 called Oscars Ballot Predictor that aims to offer real time updated predictions of the Oscar winners.

For the 2012 US Presidential elections, Rothschild correctly predicted the outcome of all of the states and the District of Columbia, save for one. The Oscar ballot is a much smaller data group; only 6,000 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members vote. Rothschild states:

For the Oscars, there is no polling, and fundamental data—box-office returns, movie ratings—are not statistically effective. I focus even more heavily on prediction markets, which are very robust, but I also include some user-generated data that helps me learn more about correlations within movies and between categories, such as, ‘How many categories will Lincoln win?’

At the moment, he is predicting that Argo has a 92 percent chance of winning Best Picture, and that Daniel Day-Lewis has a 99 percent chance to win Best Actor for Lincoln. Steven Spielberg has an 89 percent chance to win Best Director for Lincoln but Jennifer Lawrence just has a 71 percent chance to win Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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5 Comments

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Oscar Awards always has been a fishy but the current nominees is already raising some eyebrows.

For example, about Lincoln, even when the movie is boring (is really boring even for some that likes history) and inaccurate. But since it is a Spielberg movie and it is about Lincoln then it will earn a lot of awards.

i would prefer if MS do something more useful, like providing cloud based service to accurately predict the winner in various known Horserace.

Torolol said,
i would prefer if MS do something more useful, like providing cloud based service to accurately predict the winner in various known Horserace.

If you could accurately predict anything you would be a very very wealthy man.

And if you shared it with everyone, it would be worthless information. Same as if everyone knew the winning lottery numbers, by the time it's split, it'd be a fraction of what it once was.