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Predict an Oscar Winner By Crunching the Numbers


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Oscar statuettes, ready to be handed out

Different organizations are using different algorithms to try to predict who will win Academy Awards.

Credit: James Leynse/Corbis

Several organizations have turned to predictive algorithms to identify Oscar winners for Hollywood's upcoming Academy Awards.

The Motion Picture Association of America's site analyzes the positive mentions of actors, actresses, and movies in reviews, on Twitter and Facebook, and in movie forum threads. The algorithm shuns public relations-fueled buzz from the studios as part of the effort to assess genuine public sentiment.

Meanwhile, Farsite Forecast has written a prediction routine, and its analytical technique includes weighing critical sentiment with the results of the Writers Guild of America awards.

Microsoft Research predictive economist David Rothschild uses a technique that takes into account that only a small number of voters are involved in choosing the winners, which might lead to some surprising decisions.

Although the performance of the algorithms will likely fuel improvements for next year, the studios eventually use algorithms to determine which screenplays to option or dump.

From New Scientist
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