An AI Tries to Predict the Academy Awards Results

An artificial intelligence system that has in the past successfully predicted the winners of the Super Bowl and the Iowa Caucus has had a stab at predicting the results of the 88th most illustrious event in Hollywood, the Academy Awards, aka The Oscars. Unanimous A.I. has developed UNU, a swarm intelligence AI that collects croudsourced data – snap decisions made by people with no specific expertise in less than 60 seconds – and puts it through a wisdom-of-crowd algorithm to form its predictions.

According to UNU, the winners of the “big six” Oscars will be:

What movie will win Best Picture? The Revenant

Who will win for Best Actress in a Leading Role? Brie Larson (Room)

Who will win for Best Actor in a Leading Role? Leo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Who will win for Best Director? A.G. Iñárritu (The Revenant) 

Who will win for Best Actress in a Supporting Role? Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

Who will win for Best Actor in a Supporting Role?  Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

UNU also predicts wins for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Best Visual Effects), Mad Max: Fury Road (Best Costume Design), and Inside Out (Best Animated Film).

“Wisdom-of-the-Crowd algorithms are known to outperform experts in many domains,” Roman Yampolskiy, director of the Cybersecurity lab at the University of Louisville, told Tech Republic.

“The use of ‘swarm’ is a clever kind of crowdsourcing,” Marie desJardins, AI professor at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, added. “Instead of each user voting just once, independently of the other voters, it basically lets the entire community of users ‘see’ what everybody else is advocating for.”

Will UNU’s predictions prove correct? We’ll find out on Sunday (28th February).

Image courtesy of IndieWire.

Jony Ive and Elon Musk ‘Inseparable’ at Oscars After Party

AppleInsider reports that Apple’s Jony Ive and Tesla founder Elon Musk were seen talking to each other at Madonna’s exclusive Oscars after party. They say that they were “basically inseparable” and “really close”. The news comes at a time where Apple is rumoured to be building a car of its own, with suggestions that they may be looking at purchasing Musk’s Tesla Motors.

While the fact that the two were merely talking to each other is interesting, it’s also intriguing that Ive and Musk reportedly left the event together at 5am. It’s worth pointing out that these details are based on things said only by an anonymous source, as no pictures or video were allowed at the party.

Could they have been plotting a future Apple/Tesla deal, or were they simply discussing how much they love the buffet? We don’t know, but it would have been amazing to be a fly-on-the-wall at that party.

Source: AppleInsider

Microsoft’s Bing Correctly Predicted 84% of Oscar Winners

For the Oscars, the World Cup, Super Bowl and many other famous competitions, a lot of people and even animals like to predict the results. That has included octopuses, dogs and more dogs. Well Bing, the search engine from Microsoft, correctly predicted 84% of last night’s Oscar winners.

Bing correctly predicted 20 of 24 winners, including all of the big name awards such as best picture, director, actor, and best actress. Microsoft researcher David Rothschild is in charge of Bing’s predictions, using a prediction model that has been pretty successful before, correctly predicting 21 of 24 Oscar winners last year and 19 of 24 in 2013.

Leading up to the awards, Bing provided its latest predictions on the site for those who asked for them. It appears that Microsoft is making its predictions a regular thing now too, taking to English football results and last year’s World Cup.

Although Bing can’t top Google, it can certainly do a better job than these animals.

Source: The Verge

Apple Debuts New Ad During Oscars, Filmed Entirely on iPad

As per usual, Apple debuted a new ad during the Oscars last night. The company has for many years used a slot during the ceremony to show off a brand new ad. Well this year, Apple’s ad is all about movies of course, but movies made on the iPad in particular.

Martin Scorsese narrates the ad, with a message about filmmaking. But perhaps the most significant thing about this commercial, was that it was completely shot on the iPad. It’s fitting then that the ad is about making films with iPads, showing students tasked with producing a video utilising a number of iPad apps like iMovie and accessories such as iPad tripod mounts, to put the whole thing together.

It’s not the first time Apple has done such a thing – on January 24th last year Apple released an ad online celebrating 30 years since the Mac’s launch on January 24th 1984. That entire ad was filmed with the iPhone.

You can get a look at the latest ad below.

Source: MacRumors

Adobe Celebrates 25 Years of Photoshop With Spectacular Ad

It’s been 25 years since a little Mac application was first released that allowed you to edit photos. Yes, 25 years since Adobe Photoshop was born as a slightly more advanced version of your standard Paint application. However, across that 25 years, the word Photoshop has become a synonym for editing images on a computer and enabled millions of creative minds to come up with some of the most spectacular pieces of digital art we’ve ever seen. That and it has allowed countless photographers to make models look thinner.

To celebrate this, Adobe has come up with a spectacular TV ad to be shown during The Oscars this weekend, that goes someway to show what can be done with Photoshop. It covers many famous pieces of graphic design that were made possible by Adobe’s app, including famous ads, artworks and animated films including Shrek.

Watch it below, and I think you’ll agree that it’s probably the best way to celebrate the past 25 years.

Source: The Verge