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Donald Trump will win says AI system that correctly predicted last three US elections

Published 28/10/2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. AFP/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. AFP/Getty Images

The polls and simulations that involve the skills and insight of human beings suggest Donald Trump could be heading for something of a pasting.

But an artificial intelligence (AI) system that correctly predicted the last three US presidential elections, puts the Republican nominee ahead of his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton in the battle to secure the keys to the White House.

MogIA was developed by Sanjiv Rai, the founder of Indian start-up Genic.ai. It takes in 20m data points from public platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the US and then analyses the information to create predictions, CNBC reported.

The AI system was created in 2004. It has already correctly predicted the results of the Democrat and Republican primaries.

Data such as engagement with tweets or Facebook Live videos have been taken into account in the latest calculation. The result is that Trump has overtaken the engagement numbers of Barack Obama’s peak in 2008, the year he was first elected, by 25 per cent, the channel reported.

“If Trump loses, it will defy the data trend for the first time in the last 12 years since internet engagement began in full earnest,” Mr Rai said.

Currently most national polls put Ms Clinton and the Democrats ahead by a strong margin. An average of polls collated by RealClearPolitics gives Ms Clinton a 5.2 lead. Yet Mr Rai said his data showed the Democrats should not get complacent.

He admitted that there were limitations to the data in that sentiment around social media posts is difficult for the system to analyse. Just because somebody engages with a tweet from the 70-year-old New York tycoon does not mean they will necessarily vote for him.

In addition, there are are currently many more people on social media than there were in the three previous presidential elections.

“If you look at the primaries, in the primaries, there were immense amount of negative conversations that happen with regards to Trump,” said Mr Rai.

“However, when these conversations started picking up pace, in the final days, it meant a huge game opening for Trump and he won the Primaries with a good margin.”

Using social media to predict outcomes of elections has become increasingly popular because of the amount of data available publically.

In September, Nick Beauchamp, an assistant professor of political science at Northeastern University, published a paper about his experiment applying AI to more than 100m tweets in the 2012 election.

He found that this closely mirrored the results seen in state-level polling.

Independent News Service

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