Walter Sun sees the future in machine learning. Read how his passion project, Bing Predicts, is forecasting everything from sports to political outcomes.
MARCH 21, 2016
BY TRACY ITH
Originally published on Microsoft JobsBlog
At first, it sounded like a disaster. Walter Sun, whose job was to make sure Bing gave users the most up-to-the-minute information about current events, was seeing a big spike in the number of people searching for facts about some type of plane incident on the Hudson River.
People who saw the jetliner come down began tweeting details almost immediately. Others who’d been aboard a passing ferry started sharing online photos of a rescue effort. It quickly became clear that instead of tragedy, a heroic pilot’s emergency landing had saved the lives of everyone on board.
Sun says the incredible speed with which the story emerged showed “the power of what’s on the Web in real time” and, along with similar Internet buzz he noticed about school closures during snowstorms, helped him come up with the idea for Bing Predicts. The innovative feature now regularly makes headlines for its ability to analyze massive amounts of Web activity to forecast the outcomes of elections, voting-based reality TV shows, sports matchups and more.
Read more of this story – and explore more machine-learning features.