Instead of stressing over the X’s and O’s before an upcoming match, international teams competing in the World Cup should find a way to make themselves more appealing to Microsoft's Cortana.
The virtual personal assistant, found on Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) phones and other platforms, correctly predicted the outcome of seven matches, a perfect record so far as the World Cup tournament entered the second round.
Cortana correctly foretold that France and Germany would win their games on June 30, only to be right again that Belgium would defeat the U.S. and that Argentina would move past Switzerland.
“For example -- if you ask Cortana ‘Who will win Team A or Team B?’ she will provide a response on who she thinks might win the game. We thought this might be something fun to do with Cortana,” the Redmond, Washington, company wrote in a blog post. “In broad strokes, we define popularity as the frequency and sentiment of searches combined with social signals and keywords. Placing these signals into our model, we can predict the outcome of an event with high confidence.”
The obvious comparison to draw with Cortana is Paul the Octopus, the underwater oracle that made several correct predictions during the 2010 World Cup. Unlike Cortana, which is asked who will win, Paul was presented with two boxes containing food; each box had a flag on the outside of it. He then had the freedom to swim toward whichever box he chose, guessing the correct team on 11 out of 13 occasions.
Bing services have previously predicted a number of winners and losers on game shows like “American Idol” and “The Voice.”
â€” Marcus Ash (@marcusash) June 28, 2014
â€” The Verge (@verge) June 30, 2014