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Metaculus on the election

By Anthony on Nov. 15, 2016, noon GMT

Our community of predictors is poised to surpass 3,000, and we are continuing to experience steady growth, with close to 25,000 predictions now on the books.

Metaculus was not developed with political questions as its central goal, but there was no avoiding the 2016 election and its public interest. We ended up with a number of election-related questions that just resolved:

The election exhibits the importance of accountable and well-calibrated predictions. There is good indication that forecasts were over-confident, with many users attributing 5% or smaller odds to a Trump victory. Although there were some painful point losses to Metaculus predictors on several of the election-related questions, we regard this as a feature, not a bug: working toward accurate predictions individually and as a community, these lessons are very valuable!

  • In the future, it will be interesting to analyze the relative performance of the election forecasts IF a solid method can be worked out.
  • The more diverse, and the more active our user base is, the better the odds that the Metaculus consensus will be correct.
  • It’s interesting to speculate whether combining data-driven machine forecasts with human judgement by skilled forecasters could do better.

Keep Predicting!

The Metaculus Team