Last year, Boston-based data science company DataRobot successfully chose 2019’s song of the year, Childish Gambino’s “This is America.” This year, DataRobot hopes to revisit that win.
Some of the top nominees are Lizzo, who has eight nominations, Lil Nas X with six nominations, and Billie Eilish with nominations in the top four categories, according to CBS News.
Taylor Larkin, a data scientist with the company, used the DataRobot enterprise AI platform to predict the winners for song and record of the year.
DataRobot leverages machine-learning models to learn from the past to predict the future, Larkin said. “For Grammy predictions, the past is previous nominees and winners and the future is the upcoming Grammy’s.”
SEE: How And When To Watch The 2020 GRAMMY Awards (CBS)
He added: “Using historical data about the Grammy nominees and winners dating back to 1959, I gave this information to DataRobot, which created hundreds of candidate machine-learning models. I then selected the model that had the best performance on the five most recent award ceremonies.”
As for accuracy, Larkin said DataRobot “tests and validates each model, ranking them on a leaderboard, by predictive performance. The final model used to make predictions does about 77% better compared to just randomly predicting the past five winners in either category.”
“The DataRobot platform and the data are constantly evolving,” Larkin added. “The former in terms of accuracy and capabilities, and the latter, in terms of variety and availability.”
SEE: The Grammys go high-tech with IBM and artificial intelligence (TechRepublic)
If the Grammy performers and presenters manage to be drama free, AI will be Monday’s watercooler chit chat. In addition to tech-supported predictions, AI pops up on the red carpet. Forget antiquated “who are you wearing?” questions, because AI will keep you entertained pre-show, as the 1,500 artists leap from limos and make their way inside the auditorium.
Starting four hours before the televised award show, on Grammy.com, and thanks to a partnership between IBM and the Recording Academy, IBM took more than 18 million documents and data sources on this year’s Grammy nominees, and distilled them down to the most interesting nuggets about each of the artists, to create Grammy Insights with Watson, which are a modern-day version of the wildly popular 90s’ Pop-Up Video. The last hour of Grammy Insights will air live on CBS.
And as the nominees, presenters and attendees run the gauntlet of reporters on the red carpet, they’re likely to say who they like, but probably not name any specifics, for fear of “jinxing” or embarrassment. But that’s OK. AI has done the job for them.
This year’s DataRobot predictions for both song and record demonstrate close competition:
Song of the Year
- Lewis Capaldi, “Someone You Loved” – 35.25%
- Billie Eilish, “bad guy” – 33.53%
- Lana Del Rey, “Norman F***ing Rockwell” – 26.86%
Record of the Year
- Billie Eilish,”bad guy” – 31.10%
- Lil Nas X, “Old Town Road” – 29.53%
- Bon Iver, “Hey, Ma” – 19.23%
DataRobot isn’t resting on its laurels for the accuracy of last year’s prediction, and the outcome of Sunday’s presentations.
The company’s AI isn’t just for predictions, Larkin said, “DataRobot’s use cases are varied and its enterprise AI platform can be used across any industry, such as banking, insurance, healthcare, retail, and much more.”
The company has assisted small nonprofits “save lives in developing nations, healthcare providers improve patient outcomes, retailers reduce inventory waste, and the world’s largest financial institutions better serve their customers and reduce threats,” Larkin added.
Disclosure: The Grammys will air on February 26, 2020 at 8 pm ET on CBS. ViacomCBS is the parent company of CBS Interactive, which owns TechRepublic.