Microsoft Research team member uses lots of data to predict outcome of 2014 events

These Brazil soccer fans might be happy with the 2014 World Cup results, according to Rothschild.

Earlier this year, Microsoft Research employee David Rothschild teamed up with Office to create an Excel app for predicting the winners of the 2013 Academy Awards. In the end, based on examining tons of data, Rothschild was able to correctly determine the winners of 19 of the 24 Oscar categories.

Today, Microsoft posted a new interview with Rothschild where he talks about his methods of gathering and interpreting data in order to predict the outcome of events such as the 2014 Super Bowl and World Cup. Rothschild claims he never makes any predictions from his gut. He states:

I use a lot of publicly available data – gambling markets, polls, social media data and other online data. But I’m also lucky to have access to a large treasure trove of historical data at Microsoft that I use in order to understand the correlation between different inputs and outputs, things that we care about, as well as an infrastructure that allows me to gather that data continuously and continuously update it. I really owe a lot to Microsoft and my colleagues.

You can check out his current forecast of many major 2014 events on his PredictWise website. For example, his data claims that the Seattle Seahawks have a 27.7 percent chance to win Super Bowl 2014, followed closely by the Denver Broncos at 21.3 percent. For the 2014 World Cup, Brazil is leading the pack with a 22.5 percent chance of winning.

The site even includes a prediction of who will win the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. At the moment, Rothschild's data shows that Hillary Clinton is by far the biggest front runner with a 32 percent chance of becoming the first woman to hold the office. Rothschild says, "Should she run, Hillary Clinton has an extremely high likelihood of victory. The election looks very different with and without Hillary Clinton in the race."

Source: Microsoft | Brazil fans image via Shutterstock

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24 Comments

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You somehow have to doubt the accuracy of all of these predictions when the following teams are not in the World Cup 2014: Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Rep of Ireland, Paraguay, Scotland, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales; and these teams have NO prediction whatsoever: Algeria, Australia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Korea.

(Or maybe he didn't predict that?)

Why didn't they predict that desktop users wouldn't like pretending that they were on a phone-swipe device (aka Windows 8)?

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey...stuff."

Rotschild... wait a minute? Arent those the ones forever busy stealing all the money still left in peoples pockets?

mmm, no. it's not really predicting who is gonna win. they are giving the "likelihood to win". with brazil at 22% I'd say that it's a safer bet (78%) than someone else will win.

I'm more interested in when we get to the point where predictions get so accurate, the act of making predictions itself starts to affect the outcomes.

Also, the public backlash. People start to have these weird existential fits when they feel like their actions aren't as spontaneous as they perceive them to be.

They will, but I can't remember if it will be used officially. It has been in use at the UEFA Europa and Champions League as well. Get rid of the wallies behind the goal because they are bloody useless too!

Luc2k said,
Too bad most of the predictions are for boring stuff.

Real life isn't very interesting. 8) Why do you think people pick fights on the internet? It's all they have.

Spain is doing very good past years too.

I'm also pretty sure that Netherlands (My home) is not going to reach the finals like previous world cup. Just see how they did on the European cup a year ago..

Steven P. said,
Five time winners and hosting it. I will be very surprised if they aren't in the final at least! It's a farce anyway.

Pff, if you look at the results from before and during the World Cup in South Africa of our national team, then Spain would've lost

EDIT: Oh not sure if you where the dutch admin though, if not, ignore

Shadowzz said,

Pff, if you look at the results from before and during the World Cup in South Africa of our national team, then Spain would've lost

I found our team playing a bit rubbish in the final. Think they were with their head at the cup and not at the game that could keep them away from the cup..