Search giant Google lives and dies by trends, and the newest iteration of the Frightgeist tool proves its prowess by showing off the top Halloween costumes internationally, and giving a bit of information about them. The tool shows the top 100 costumes across your own locality and a range of other countries. When you click on a costume name, you'll be given some information such as the likelihood of showing up at a party and finding another person with the same costume, whether it's trending up or down, and where it's searched for the most in a given country. This year's Frightgeist also contains a useful, AI-driven tool; you can input scariness and originality values, and it will try to pick a costume for you.
Frightgeist works by aggregating Google searches for costumes, so spur-of-the-moment buys and searches on other services like Bing won't be covered. Still, it's a good tool to get an idea of trends in costumes, and perhaps get some help in deciding on your own. This year in the United States, movie characters make up around one fifth of the total costume searches, with Hollywood heroine Wonder Woman taking the top spot on the back of Gal Gadot's critically acclaimed performance. Fan favorite Harley Quinn, darling of the recent Suicide Squad movie and all around relatable female anti-hero came in at second place this year, surrendering the first place crown that she won last year to her Amazonian peer. Right after the two starlets, the recent IT movie remake and "creepy clown" stories and sightings have propelled clowns to third place.
The Frightgeist tool is an ongoing tradition for Halloween, and is but one demonstration of Google's skill in interpreting search data to map out trends and produce actionable data. In a way, this tool gives everyday users a taste of the powerful analytics tools that Google's business customers and employees use on a daily basis to keep pumping out relevant, highly desirable content. Naturally, data of this sort can also be fed into Google's algorithms to help AI learn to predict and interpret probability, trends, and the reasoning behind those factors, which are important to the growth of AI's overall ability to reason over time.