Each week, Predictify will ask a VIP to submit a question for the crowd to answer.

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Excellent idea.

I told the CFTC that inputs from external, vertical experts are important.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • 24 hours after the launch of the “Prediction Markets” group at LinkedIn, we have already 39 members —both prediction market luminaries and simple people (trading the event derivatives or collecting the market-generated probabilities).
  • That was ubber world star Barack Obama in Berlin, during his July 2008 speech at the Victory Column. Spot all the digital cameras pointing to the socialist Messiah. Snatching something to bring at home — “see, I was there”.
  • If you want your affiliation with the “Prediction Markets” group to appear on your LinkedIn profile, then click on “Edit Public Profile Settings”, and check the “Groups” option.
  • If you want to connect with InTrade CEO John Delaney on LinkedIn…
  • Do join the “Prediction Markets” group at LinkedIn, if you have a strong interest in the prediction markets or if you work in the prediction market industry. It’s free, and that’s a way for the LinkedIn visitors browsing stuff about prediction markets to stumble upon your resume / profile.
  • You can now join the LinkedIn group on Prediction Markets.
  • Nigel Eccles says that HubDub generates “data on peoples’ reputations for accurately analyzing and forecasting future events”.

VIDEO: Max Keisers attempt at predicting the future -subjectively

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Overall, the TV show is based on a good concept (trying to predict future headlines), and I&#8217-m sure it will be a success in the end.

However, one big mistake Max is doing is to have female journalists. Sorry to say that, but if you are in the business of selling subjective predictions, you need to have credible predictors, with loud voice, charisma, and definitive attitude. Most women in journalism don&#8217-t display those qualities.

Max, fire the journalists and put real pundits on your TV show.


Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • The letter David Pennock will never send out —well, we hope.
  • Monitor the web traffic of TradeSports.com, InTrade.com, BetFair.com, Betdaq.com, NewsFutures.com, HubDub.com, etc. —thanks to Google Trends.
  • Here’s the way to promote innovation for entry-order and analysis software packages —separate the 2 functions.
  • Ugly things happened before BetFair was invented
  • Tiny API delay for non-UK customers of BetFair —since all international BetFair bettors, traders and gamblers are now served from Malta, not from London.
  • CLOCK IS RUNNING FAST: 17 days to go, if we want to counter AEI’s push for not-for-profit prediction exchanges.
  • In the for-profit vs not-for-profit debate, our prediction market luminaries, doctored by Bob, are on the wrong side of the issue.

Psstt… Spot that comment, on Google News, about… bellwethers… from a political scientist.

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&#8220-Come November, the bellwether election predictor module might be one additional source others might want to take a look at when calling a state red or blue.&#8221-

Spot in passing the mention of our&#8230- &#8220-high-stakes, casino-style prediction markets&#8221-&#8230- :-D

Suffolk University – Political Research Center

Predictify is about building track records of human predictors.

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Robert Scoble interviews their CTO.


Predictify is not a prediction exchange. We think prediction markets are superior to polls and surveys, don&#8217-t we? :-D

With Predictify, the mechanism delivering the collective verdict is simplistic: it&#8217-s a poll &#8212-with possibility to get down to each individual answer.

Their conversation is very interesting, nevertheless &#8212-in great part due to Robert Scoble&#8217-s intense curiosity.

Technically, the video is awesome and plays well &#8212-even with my old computer and slow DSL line. Kudos to the Fast Company techies. :-D

UPDATE: I don&#8217-t like that their video starts off automatically, though. With YouTube, we decide to play the video &#8212-it is not imposed on us.

UPDATE: Alas, their embedded video does not go into the blog feed. :(

UPDATE: I e-mailed my remarks to Robert Scoble, and he&#8217-s asked to his techie to look into the issues. :-D

UPDATE: I see that the video does not start on its own, now. They managed to correct that. :-D Rest the fact that their videos don&#8217-t go into feeds.

Spot the red line. I like the idea of this comparison.

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Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • If Midas Oracle were to meet, would we use Huddle, and why?
  • WORLD’S SUCH A SMALL PLACE: Smarkets meet HubDub.
  • 50% of our prediction market luminaries have a MacBook.
  • Ron Paul (R) and Barney Frank (D) ally together to attack “the practical hurdles of the federal law, known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, rather than its legitimacy”.
  • Clicking on the “SPHERE: RELATED CONTENT” button, at the bottom of each Midas Oracle post, will bring you a list of external webspots.
  • FRIGHTENING: Jed Christiansen’s prediction market blog was briefly overtaken by web spammers, who inserted invisible links to their commercial sites so as to game the Google PageRank system.

What Jed Christiansen did say about Predictify

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Enterprise prediction market consultant Jed Christiansen:

Predictify – Predictify has been in the mainstream blogs a bit recently with a couple of mentions on the Freakonomics blog. Unfortunately, Predictify really isn’t a prediction market… it’s a sophisticated polling and market research mechanism. That’s not to say it doesn’t use the “wisdom of crowds,” just that some of the assumptions that James Surowiecki talks about in his book don’t necessarily apply. The reason I say it’s not a market is that a user cannot express their confidence in their prediction. It makes it difficult to sort out the knowledgeable forecasts from the un-knowledgeable forecasts. Unique about Predictify is that companies can submit market research questions, and those that predict right can win the fees that the company pays to Predictify for the listing.

Previously: LongBets + Predictify

What the prediction market experts said on Predictify

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Predictify may be a fine “for dummies” prediction game, but it certainly isn’t prediction “market”. It’s rather more like parimutuel betting. The distinction is important because prediction markets reward people not just for being right, but for being right before others. Prediction markets have demonstrated again and again their ability to aggregate information and produce accurate predictions, whereas prediction games like Predictify still have everything to prove.

It is deeply misleading to call any wisdom-of-crowds contraption a prediction market.

— Posted by Emile Servan-Schreiber

I agree with Emile here.

Predictify appears to me to be a more sophisticated polling site. In a market, there is an element of risk and consequent reward. I might be willing to risk $100 on my forecast of the presidential election, but only $10 on my forecast of the World Series. That is taken into account in a prediction market, or market of any type.

Most markets allow buying and selling, which could also “lock in” profits based on price movements. While you can change your vote on Predictify, that doesn’t make you any money, real or virtual. You’re just registered as changing your vote.

While polling certainly is an information aggregation mechanism, and fits into the “Wisdom of Crowds,” it doesn’t really appear to be a “market.”

— Posted by Jed Christiansen

Jed and EJSS, a prediction market consultant, and the CEO of a struggling prediction market company, make valid points, but WHO CARES? The general public certainly doesn’t. You can continue to quibble all you want and ride the high horse, but if Predictify works, it works, and that’s all anyone cares about. Let’s at least congratulate them on coming up with a unique model.

— Posted by Smack Fogarty


I think the “valid points” here are pretty important, because they are actually questioning whether Predictify works or not. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that it does – that’s the point.

— Posted by Matt

Collective Prediction – Combining human and machine intelligence in prediction economies

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MIT&#8217-s CCI:

Think of a domain in which you would like accurate predictions of future events: sales volumes for a company&#8217-s products, outcomes of sporting events or military conflicts, crime rates by neighborhood, terrorist actions, new products introduced by a company&#8217-s competitors, or the clinical outcomes of different medical treatments someone you know might receive for cancer.

Now imagine a network of humans and computers that makes predictions in this domain&#8211-not perfectly, but better than was possible before. And imagine that these predictions get better and better over time as the network learns from its own experience. We propose to do some of the essential research needed to help create such networks.

A number of researchers have recently developed prediction markets in which participants buy and sell predictions about uncertain future events and are paid only if their predictions are correct. Such prediction markets have been found to be surprisingly accurate in a wide range of situations (including forecasting product sales and US Presidential elections).

We propose to build on this previous work to develop prediction economies &#8212- networks of people and computers paid (either in currency or points) for accurate predictions about future events. A prediction economy can include (a) one or more prediction markets (b) markets for various other kinds of information relevant to the events being predicted, and (c) markets for services by people (such as image analysis) or by machines (such as multiple regression, machine learning, and data mining).

Importantly, both people and their automated agents will be allowed to participate in any part of the economy. For instance, automated agents can do &#8220-program trading&#8221- in two related prediction markets whenever they see inconsistent prices in the two markets. In this way, prediction economies provide a flexible new approach to integrating human and machine expertise: People have an incentive to create new automated agents whenever they can codify useful expertise algorithmically, and they have an incentive to participate in markets directly when they can do a better job than the existing automated agents. But when people can&#8217-t improve on what the automated agents are already doing, then they have no incentive to intervene.

Drawing on theories in organization science, computer science, cognitive science, and economics, this work will develop new forecasting and collaboration tools that blend human and machine capabilities to more accurately forecast risks and opportunities, thus helping to build more agile systems in many domains.

Hummm&#8230- More meta than the prediction markets? Is that possible?&#8230- Will their proposal fly? Humm&#8230-

Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Ratted by his bank, sex-addict New York governor Eliot Spitzer (alias “Client 9”) resigns.
  • BBC’s coverage of politics is dull like taxes, death and German sausages.
  • Never talk when you can nod, and never nod when you can wink, and never write an e-mail because it’s death. You’re giving prosecutors all the evidence we need.
  • Is Justin Wolfers a libertarian? Probably not.
  • The information technology that caught Eliot Spitzer
  • Eric Zitzewitz’s 10 minutes of fame
  • Fun with conditional probabilities