Microsoft has just rolled out an interesting feature called “Bing Predictions,” which will predict the outcomes of TV shows like American Idol, The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. Now, what makes this interesting to me is the technology behind these prognostications.
According to Bing, “The central idea behind the direct approach is that winners and losers correspond to popularity. In broad strokes, we define popularity as the frequency and sentiment of searches combined with social signals and keywords. Placing these signals into our model, we can predict the outcome of an event with high confidence. For The Voice, our model is tuned to account for biases, such as regional preferences, and other measurable and observable trends. We have also learned how to combine the prior popularity of a contestant with the contribution due to his or her performance. Although we might believe that the outcome of this week’s The Voice comes down to how well someone belts out a tune, our data indicates that many people have ‘favorites’ regardless of individual week-to-week performances.”
This may not be of grave concern to the general population of Internet marketers, yet, but you can be sure that the Las Vegas oddsmakers are taking notice.