The American elections are over – for the next four years, Donald J. Trump will lead the country for better or worse. Hillary Clinton’s defeat took many by shock and surprise – including Microsoft, who’s Bing Predicts algorithm claimed an 89.7% for Hillary Clinton to be the next POTUS.
Unlike the many analytical polls who compile data from a sample population and attempt to figure out the candidate with a higher chance of winning; Bing gathers data from a world of metrics – its search traffic, social media traffic, and some extra data from 3rd parties such as PredictWise.
This strategy has been successful previously – as we mentioned when we reported Bing Predict’s prediction – but it missed the mark by quite a lot of margin this time around. The folks at WinBeta contacted Microsoft for an explanation, and here’s what a spokesperson had to say:
“Bing Predicts uses several sources including search, web, social data, third-parties and more to inform predictions. True to the nature of all predictions, we can never guarantee 100% accuracy.”
TL;DR: We got it wrong, and it’s just how predictions work. To be fair to Microsoft, they are not alone in this: almost every political analysis showed higher chances for a Clinton presidency.
For Bing Predicts, a failure means nothing – perhaps Microsoft will learn from this experience and improve the way it works, but that’s all there is to it.
Interestingly, an Indian fish, a Chinese monkey, and an Indian start-up with a prediction system called MogIA all predicted a Trump presidency. Perhaps we should listen to MogIA more often, the fish and monkey not so much.
Predictions aside, the United States of America will soon be under President-elect Donald Trump’s leadership – democracy is at work, and it should be respected.
Hillary Clinton did get more individual votes overall, but that’s not how the electoral college system counts them. The game was fair; the rules have been around for generations, and while it might not be perfect – it is how it is, and the results are to be respected.
It could perhaps be an excellent idea to push for electoral reforms, for the future.
Image Credit: TIME