Microsoft Cortana Claims to Predict FIFA World Cup Matches ‘Accurately’
After Paul the Octopus, FIFA world cup prediction has taken a digital turn with Microsoft adding 'outcome prediction' functionality to its personal digital assistant Cortana.Microsoft

Bizarre is the best word to describe Microsoft these days. Not only did the Redmond-based company confuse (irritate rather) people with its Windows 8 OS that had no start button, it also grabbed eyeballs for the outlandish wireless charging trousers, which were unveiled a couple of weeks ago .

Now, Microsoft has released an experiment on its Windows Phone 8.1 platform, wherein the personal digital assisstant (PDA) Cortana has started predicting the outcome of certain matches of the ongoing FIFA football world cup.

"Because Cortana in Windows Phone 8.1 is powered by Bing, we thought it would be fun to have Cortana verbalise what team she thinks might win based on this prediction technology from Bing," states Microsoft in an official blog post.

Cortana's predictions are a part of Microsoft's Predictions with Bing experiment that the company launched in April this year. Under the experiment, outcomes of various events such as American Idol and Dancing With The Stars were predicted. Contestants' elimination or further progress was apparently predicted by Bing.

According to a report on The Verge, Cortana correctly predicted the result of world cup matches held on 30 June. The digital assistant accurately predicted victories for Germany and France in their respective games, states The Verge.

Also, Cortana has predicted USA to overcome Belgium during their 1 July encounter.

"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," Microsoft goes on to add.

The company states that the technology behind its prediction experiments lies in the brand popularity of a particular individual or a football team.

Cortana's prediction capabilities also arise from regular updates that MS releases every couple of weeks.

"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 company says.

The company uses various customisable models for predictions, with which various aspects of football teams such as win or loss record, current weather conditions and home conditions are mapped to bring out predictions.

The company's recent approach and strategy have baffled even the hardcore Microsoft loyalists. It would have seemingly done the company a world of good had it officially announced the speculated Windows 8.1 Update 2 with start button rather than create a digital Paul the Octopus.