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Cortana defeats Siri in World Cup predictions showdown

Cortana 1 - Siri 0
Mon Jul 14 2014, 10:03

Fifa World Cup trophyMICROSOFT'S Cortana digital assistant correctly predicted 15 out of 16 World Cup results, defeating Apple's Siri.

Following Germany's World Cup victory on Sunday, Microsoft hastily issued a blog post boasting that its rival to Siri correctly predicted the winner of 15 out of 16 world cup matches.

We're guessing that Apple isn't feeling quite so boastful today, with Siri betting on Argentina to win Sunday's final.

Microsoft said in its blog post, "A few weeks ago, we enabled the ability for Cortana to predict the outcomes of soccer matches from Brazil powered by prediction technology in Bing on devices running Windows Phone 8.1.

"Thanks to Bing, Cortana has accurately predicted the winner in 15 out of 16 games of those popular soccer matches (a near perfect bracket in the knockout rounds) which is pretty amazing."

As well as beating Apple's Siri, Cortana's predictions also saw it outperform Paul the Octopus - a psychic sea octopus, who died in 2010 but had become a worldwide sensation when he predicted the winning team in eight of the 2010 tournament matches, including the final.

Microsoft explained how Cortana's predictions work in a blog post earlier this month. It said, "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 is still not yet known when Cortana will be available to UK-based Windows Phone 8.1 users, but we contacted Microsoft to ask. µ


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