As we reported two days ago:
Microsoft's seldom-used digital yellow pages has waded into the independence referendum with the claim that Scots will vote no and the United Kingdom will be preserved.
According to the world's other search engine, some 48.1 per cent of Scots will tick the Yes box, while 51.9 per cent will choose No.
Its claim was concocted using a system called Bing Predicts, which is being beta tested during the referendum. Bing's new toy uses machine-learning to analyse and detect trends from the web and social networks.
Its creators claim it predicted the winner of TV singing competition Pop Idol about eight weeks before the final, while other data about team performance was fed in to successfully augur the results of the first 15 knockout rounds of the football World Cup.
"Predicting the World Cup required the incorporation of other prior information such as team strengths since popularity alone doesn’t dramatically help a football team to win or lose," Bingobserved.
To achieve its latest nationalist-baiting prediction, Bing decided which terms were pro-independence or against it, as well as using sentiment analysis to weed out neutral voters.
The information is updated constantly, which should provide a clue to the voting intentions of the 350,000 people who are estimated to be swithering (Scottish translation: wavering) about which way to vote.
Bing also noticed the following search terms trending in the past six months:
CURRENCY: what will happen to the currency in Scotland if it does become independent?
GEO-POLITICAL: can the UK veto an independent Scotland EU membership
NATIONALITY/IDENTITY: will Scottish people lose their British nationality after independence
BANKS: what happens to RBS if Scotland becomes independent?
OIL: who gets the oil with independence?
BBC: what would happen to the BBC in an independent Scotland?
Other "interesting terms" included the question: "What will happen to the open golf after Scottish independence?"
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