Cortana predicted 15 of 16 World Cup matches correctly

Earlier today, we asked if you thought Windows Phone digital assistant Cortana would accurately predict the final game of the World Cup with Germany playing against Argentina, and as it turns out Cortana's prediction was correct with a German win. "Thanks to Bing, Cortana has accurately predicted the winner in 15 out of 16 games of those popular soccer matches (a perfect bracket in the knockout rounds)," Microsoft said.

To help its near-accurate predictions, Cortana relied on the power of Bing to help it analyze how each team will perform. Though the World Cup pertains to soccer, it would be interesting to see how Cortana will be able to predict wins and losses in other sports.

This is how the magic of Cortana works:

It looks at the strength of each team through a variety of factors such as previous wins/losses/ties in qualification matches, other international competitions and margin of the victories in these competitions. Then other adjustments are made related to other factors that might give a team advantages over others like home field advantage (for Brazil), proximity (for South American teams like finalist Argentina), playing surface (hybrid grass), game-time weather conditions, and other factors. The data can also be tuned based on win/lose/tie probabilities captured by the people wagering on the outcomes. This model doesn't rely more heavily on any one element but rather has the advantage of dynamically and continuously adapting up until game time in an innovative way to give users the best possible prediction.

Are you impressed with Cortana's performance? Do you think Cortana will make users of Siri and Google Now switch to Windows Phone to experience the power and ease of Microsoft's digital assistant?

Source: Microsoft

Chuong Nguyen

Chuong's passion for gadgets began with the humble PDA. Since then, he has covered a range of consumer and enterprise devices, raning from smartphones to tablets, laptops to desktops and everything in between for publications like Pocketnow, Digital Trends, Wareable, Paste Magazine, and TechRadar in the past before joining the awesome team at Windows Central. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, when not working, he likes exploring the diverse and eclectic food scene, taking short jaunts to wine country, soaking in the sun along California's coast, consuming news, and finding new hiking trails. 

  • Which one was wrong?
  • Brazil vs Netherlands
  • No, it predicted that one correctly
  • No she didn't, she predicted brazil to win, i would've placed my money on them as well if im honest, but they did quite poorly this year.
  • They reached the semi finals mate
    That's not bad
    Just not great
  • That's luck and that's bad.
  • I think england vs mexico
  • No, it was Mongolia vs Afghanistan...
  • Yeah, I lost 2 grand on Mongolia...
  • 3rd place playoff match yesterday, which it/she said might be Brazil, but Dutch got it instead.
  • Nothing is always right
  • Math.
  • Apple users think theire Iphone is always right
  • Probably The Netherlands vs Argentina. Netherlands should have won that! Including the final against germany... But well... things happen.
  • Oranje fan toevallig?
  • I was shocked to see Cortana predicted a win for Argentina but she was right en ja ik ben een oranje fan
  • Haha..ik ook ...i started blaming her for the loss
  • I'm glad Argentina beat Netherlands. I was tired of Robben and all his acting
  • You're an mexican cris?
  • Nnnneee, joh, hahaha, achjjaa. Oosterburen hebben gewonnen ;)
  • Spijtiggenoeg was Italië zielig de laatste 2 wereldbekers. Maar Nederland had hem al in 2010 moeten winnen ....... En ook dit jaar ..... Shit happens zeker ...
  • So.... Is any European app/game developer making his game/app free in celebration? * initiates evil smile*
  • CORTANA IS AWESOME! Windows Phone fans we have our hero feature! We're just seeing the start of what Cortana is going to bring! She's going to be the lynchpin that ties Microsoft's devices and services together. Keep an eye out for what's coming down the line. Let our Android and iOS friends know how Awesome she is.
    Get this, I used her to set up an appt in front of a friend today and she stated how CORTANA is better than Siri! She shared freely that Cortana was better at understanding and how that for Siri you have to say things multiple times! People just need to see/hear her in action!
    Another person, I teach Sunday school, so I told a student to use Siri to remind her to study her lesson, no surprise I suppose, she stated she doesn't use Siri! Many folks don't find her useful!
    I think many of us with Cortana use her not just for the novelty and fun, she is actually REALLY USEFUL! Cortana is the Future and that's Not All Talk Cortana Windows Phone Digital Assistant From the Future Predicts World Cup
  • Well, ms in discussion whether they will release cortana to other oses though
  • It got the 3rd place game wrong, which is kinda excusable given the Brazil team should have been favoured given their history at home. You can never predict how seriously a team will take a game that they had no real benefit for winning.
  • I wonder if she can also predict the winning numbers for the lottery...
  • i asked here earlier today because i was showing her off to a friend of mine. We talked about taking her to the casino too lol
  • That'll be great! Guess we need to try her on that.
  • Even she will have a hard time helping you win when the odds of winning anything is like 1 in 13 million (for the UK lottery anyway)
  • Amazing odds, I think ours are in the billions for the jackpot (Texas Lottery).
  • Sure they'll switch! In four years that the world cup starts again :)
  • Lol, very near to the truth.
  • You are forgetting the UEFA 2016 in France for those of Europe :)
  • I am :) Maybe. I think she has definitely caught attention! Especially for Halo fans Windows Phone is a lot more popular now
  • Viva Germany, Viva cortana
  • Haha amigos, supported Germany all throughout the world cup,..#massive respect klose#schweinstieger#nuer
  • Ha ha, that's funny... It was Germany vs Germany. Argentinians' think they are German too... Of course, not all of them.
  • They still think they're a colony of great Britain. Glad the germans won
  • WTF!!! Viva Argentina!!! Lumia 920 ;)
  • And I'm very glad she was wrong that one time =P   Also...why aren't there yet rumours that Microsoft rigged the World Cup to promote Cortana? No one came up with that yet? I'm disappointed at the rumour mills...
  • Cortana, did Microsoft rig the world cup?
  • I'm sorry, I'm having trouble connecting right now. Standard.
  • +1020
  • I hate that connection crap. I'm always on Wi-Fi too. I thought it was only my phone.
  • No. it's 'Internet and I are not talking right now!' crap... drives me nuts. I was at the West Point (the military academy) last Sat. I asked Cortana for directions back to Westchester, what should have been a 45 min drive, turned out to be 3 hour drive 'coz she made a convuluted route going upstate NY and coming back for 218 miles. don't know who to blame.. was it Cortana or Nokia drive+. my wife got the same route too in her 925. luckily I noticed I'm heading in the wrong direction 10 mins into the drive.  well there's still a lot of issues to be ironed out with Cortana. 15 out of 16 predictions right is indeed impressive.
  • Yeah sorry. I was paraphrasing, not having Cortina in the UK. I tryied it by region hacking and 75% of the time I wasn't on WiFi I got that. Even sending a text message. At least compose the thing for me now and send it when you and the internet ARE on speaking terms. "Go and get your bag out of the car" "But it's out of gas" Typical woman logic.  
  • I'm sure the one she got wrong was on purpose so people don't think there was cheating in the game, and the results were already planned xD
  • LOL! If Cortana got it all correct, trolls would probably be saying now that Microsoft rigged WC to sell Cortana.
  • Now people will buy windows phone only for talking with Cortana after her 15 out of 16 correct prediction. Go Cortana.
  • I wonder how many siri predicted correctly, anyone? Coolest Man Alive
  • Ask this question to Cortana. Lolz
  • She would just search it on the web. Google did pretty well too. Missed one as well, or at least one.
  • Google missed two, France vs Germany and Brazil vs Netherlands (This one Cortana got wrong too)
  • Oh so Google also got the Brazil vs Netherlands game wrong! Now I now why there were not that many trolls dissing Cortana's error predicting the Brazil vs Netherland match!
  • Google also got Brazil vs Germany wrong.
  • Germany played very well. I'm not a supporter of any of them but congrats
  • By the grace of Bing!
  • This.
    And their algorithm.
  • When she goes over to the Xbox One she will really be used for the original vision of the console. Used with EA Sports games and others, she will predict your fantasy players performance and such.
  • It's not that difficult to predict. For most of the games it was clear who was going to win. I had 13/16 predicted matches good.
  • always amazed by those mathmaticial models for prediction in social/ecomonic area. cortana is like Charlie from Numb3rs now, what next? my PhD defence questions? :d
  • I start that shiz tomorrow. Doctoral Comprehensive Exam , sucks nuts, but must do.
  • Good luck :P.
  • I remember my final oral exam like it was yesterday (it most definitely wasn't :)). Kind of hard on the old nervous system, but damn what an awesome feeling when I got the thumbs up! Good luck! Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Nice! :D
  • Wont lie i really wanted the neds to win, i liked how they played Coolest Man Alive
  • Me too.
  • The most hated team (at least by the whole Americas) was Netherland, the most cheater team (I'm looking at you, Robben. You better go practice ballet instead football)
  • He learned that from the south american countries....  good thing to battle them with their own weapons ;)  And I'd like to add that both Brasil and Argentina played some really ugly football trying to hurt their opponents instead of making the game... Netherlands should have made the finals: IMHO it was the ONLY team that showed a real winning spirit and rose above itself! And yeah....I'm dutch  
  • I chose Germany one cares, but I probably know less about Futbol than Cortana.
  • Not even the spelling? :P
  • That's how its spelled in Spanish. Fútbol.
  • I C...
    I älsó ťhöt hé wäs spikiñg ïnglïs :P
  • Call the media, take this public! We need some press time for this!
  • +620
  • +520
  • +1020
  • +837
  • Wait, 837?
    Did I miss something?
  • +920
  • +520
  • Lol
  • Okay, German developers can we have a your apps for free just for tomorrow?
  • I see what you did there ;)
  • Totally impressed by Cortana
  • That's awesome
  • I will use Cortana for future bets
  • The zueira never ends. Only Brazil did the "honors".
  • Ja Deutschland great great great!!!! Notice: 4 exclamation marks equal 4 stars :D
    Win win winning!!!!
  • No, you don't say? That's why people were holding signs with the number 4?
  • Yes man, captain obvious all the way but still super fun!!!!
  • Did Paul the Octopus reincarnate into Cortana?
  • Or maybe they used Paul's brain to power Cortana for the world cup :P.
  • Paul was better!
  • It's sad that the press didn't know about this to popularize Cortana, and WP
  • As long Cortana is kept with-in the windows ecosystem it would be a compelling reason to switch. If MS make cortana available on ios and android then there would be no more compelling and unique experiences to make users to switch.
  • Microsoft please keep Cortana to Windows platforms
  • +++520
  • +520 +RT
  • +520
  • +920 +W7 +W8.1
  • +520 +W8.1
  • All this praise for Cortana is honestly bullshit, all it did was predict the heavyweight for each matchup and the one it got wrong it did the same thing...Argentina upset Netherlands, who was once again the heavyweight
  • Wait, did anyone use Cortana for NBA finals (less competitive I know)? Cortana predict NFL games?...
  • I hope so. I'll take her to Vegas with me
  • Haha
    I think will not be enough to make Android and IOS user shift to WP not until Cortana available for every country
  • What's your number?
  • Cortana should be able to predict his number as well!
  • At the 2014 World Cup Paul the Octopus predicted ALL his matches correctly.  I hope Paul comes to Windows Phone before the next World Cup.
  • Actually he only predicted for 8 matches. Cortana did for 16, got 15 right. And we all know it was the Brazilians who lost, not the Dutch who won. ;)
  • There's a conspiracy theory that says Cortana is actually from the future and knew the result of every match. She deliberately got one wrong to put us off her trail. :P
  • Haha
  • Technically speaking, she IS from the future. No big deal.
  • Fish!!! she destroyed my final dreams!!!
  • Figures. The one match she gets wrong is the one match I bet the farm on. Now I'm indebted to loan sharks. Thanks a lot, Cortana! Siri never would've done this to me and my family!
  • Cortana, what are the winning numbers to the mega millions jackpot
  • Knowing MS this news will only be known to hardcore fans while Google,who also got 15\16,will market this result like hell Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Google Now got 14/16 correct. One less than Cortana's.
    just FYI ;)
  • Don't care for the game but that was pretty good getting most of it right :)
  • I have both iOS and windows phone, for this time cortana win than siri, I don't speak english as my native language but cortana respond and listening every words correctly than siri.. this is my opinion.
  • That's rather a fact for you, actually.
  • They will if Microsoft keeps it exclusive to windows phone, and not share it to the likes of Android and IOS
  • Meh, I thought she was lucky.
  • Yes, she was 93.75% lucky.
  • She was 93.75% correct!
  • Not bad... Of course, the vast majority of WP users wouldn't know, since Cortana is off limits to us.
  • "And for F**k sake....stop ......!"
  • Did it predict the Nazis winning ?
  • To soon.
  • I'm so regret that I didn't bet any based on Cortana predict...
  • Okay, okay all those who trust Cortana's judgment rise your hand...and see the next generation stockbrokers has arisen....or maybe future racetrack gamblers ;)
  • I hope we have her in UK for grand national
  • Awesome features have a difficult time moving lemmings from other platforms.