Alongside its regular work of making operating systems, inventing hologramatic versions of Minecraft and building our favourite gadget of the year, Microsoft has recently developed an interesting sideline in forecasting the future.
Microsoft researcher David Rothschild heads up the predictions lab, from the company’s New York office, which in recent history has correctly anticipated everything from the World Cup and NFL games.
Now, in arguably its biggest success ever, the lab has correctly predicted 20 out of 24 Oscar winners — including the ‘big six’ awards for best film, actor, actress, director and supporting cast.
The lab actually did slightly better last year - predicting 21 of 24 awards, and came close with 19 in 2013. But it's notable that it still did better than the bookies in Vegas this year, according to The Verge, who said the Wynn casino there was only able to get four out of six of the top prizes correct.
“Whenever I create predictions I focus on several attributes beyond accuracy, including flexibility, scalability, and timeliness,” Rothschild said.