Cortana
Microsoft's Cortana Is Upseting National Football Team Fans With its World Cup Predictions

Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, has successfully predicted the outcome of two more matches in the Fifa World Cup 2014.

The digital assistant, which is found on Microsoft's Windows Phones, had predicted Brazil's victory over Colombia and Germany's win over France in the tournament's quarter final.

Now, Cortana says Argentina will beat Belgium and that the Netherlands will best Costa Rica in the next two matches of the quarter final, according to a Mashable report.

Cortana's predictions come from Microsoft's Bing search engine, which was tweaked at the beginning of the tournament to support World Cup predictions. Apart from sports events, the search engine has also forecast the outcomes of reality-TV shows, including The Voice, Dancing With The Stars and American Idol.

How does it work? Below is Microsoft's explanation of the process.

For the tournament, our models evaluate the strength of each team through a variety of factors such as previous win/loss/tie record in qualification matches and other international competitions and margin of victory in these contests, adjusted for location since home field advantage is a known bias. Further adjustments are made related to other factors which give one team advantages over another, such as home field (for Brazil) or proximity (South American teams), playing surface (hybrid grass), game-time weather conditions, and other such factors. In addition, data obtained from prediction markets allows us to tune the win/lose/tie probabilities due to the 'wisdom of the crowds' phenomenon captured by the people wagering on the outcomes.

It remains to be seen if Cortana can continue its successful streak. If it does, then fans from Costa Rica and Belgium are in for a serious upset.