Microsoft came remarkably close to predicting all 24 Oscar winners

Cortana isn't the only part of Microsoft that's interested in predicting the future. David Rothschild, an economist with the company's New York research lab, was behind the team that successfully guessed six of last night's biggest Oscar winners, including the awards for best film, director, actor and actress. In fact, across all 24 categories they only slipped up on four -- original screenplay, original score, animated feature and film editing.

Rothschild is no stranger to data-driven crystal ball gazing. The predictive analytics guru nailed 21 out of 24 winners last year and 19 out of 24 in 2013. Arguably his most impressive feat to date, however, is calling all but one of the 50 states in the 2012 US election. You can see more of Rothschild's analytical guesswork on his PredictWise site, which offers up-to-date figures on a multitude of upcoming political, sporting and entertainment events.

[Image Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]