Bing’s predictions engine correctly guessed 84% of wins at this year’s Academy Awards show, reports The Verge.

The search-engine-turned-soothsayer predicted the correct results for best picture, best actress and actor, best supporting actress and actor, and best director, according to the list of predictions over at the Inside Microsoft Research blog (published February 18). In fact, The Verge says, Bing only plumped for the wrong result in four out of 24 award categories.

Rather than relying on magic charms and incantations, Bing’s prediction engine works by aggregating data from various sources – such as social media and search – to make informed guesses about upcoming events. These are presented to users who search for terms relevant to that event.

For example, for tomorrow’s Cricket World Cup clash between Ireland and the United Arab Emirates, Bing puts its ‘money’ squarely on Ireland, with (at the time of writing) an 81.2% chance of the emerald isle winning.

Bing’s Oscars predictions were part of an “interactive guide” the search engine put together for the 87th Academy Awards ceremony. Users were able to “explore more about the films, actors, directors, songs and cinematographers nominated for these awards”, according to Bing’s blog post announcing the feature.

Users could also watch film trailers and listen to nominated songs.

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