Friday, October 8, 2010

Daily Beast's Election Oracle

Here's a nifty new application in sentiment analysis: the Daily Beast's "Election Oracle." It's based on an engine called WiseWindow, which apparently scrapes the Web in real time, searching for content relevant to all the midterm elections, then makes predictions. One interesting touch is that DailyBeast pipes in RealClearPolitics' latest poll numbers, inviting head-to-head comparisons.

If the screen-scraping works the way it's intended, you would expect WiseWindow's numbers to change a little faster than the polls, since polls are only conducted every so often, and usually include a rolling average.

I'm skeptical. Not because I don't believe that it can be done, but because I've read up on the top-of-the-line opinion mining algorithms, and they're still full of holes. Computer scientists are smart people, but they haven't absorbed the lessons that pollsters have spent almost 100 years learning.

1 comment:

Rajiv Dulepet said...

Hi Abe
My name is Rajiv Dulepet, and I am founder and CTO of Wise Window Inc. I appreciate you talking about Election Oracle which is powered by Wise Window. I luv skeptics and I like encouraging folks interested in exploring this space. Give me howl if interested at