UPDATE: Cortana’s perfect prediction streak continues. The AI from the future, is now 12-0, having accurately predicted the Netherlands victory over Costa Rica.
UPDATE: Cortana, Microsoft’s Bing powered digital assistant on Windows Phone bests Google in predicting World Cup victor in Friday July 4th, 2014 match between Germany and France!
Cortana’s pick, Germany, defeated Google’s pick, France 1-0 and now advances to the semi-finals. Cortana continues her 100% accuracy prediction streak while Google’s streak has come to an abrupt halt. Either Cortana, named after the artificially intelligent assistant to Master Chief, John-117, from the wildly successful Xbox game Halo is really from the future, or Bing is indeed the formidable contender to Google Microsoft claims that it is.
With this type of computational power as the backbone to Cortana, the Windows Phone digital assistant is certainly on it’s way to being the pop culture “Halo Effect” inducing hero feature Windows Phone needs.
World Cup fever has heated the summer of 2014. The world’s most popular sport, football, or soccer here in the US is kicking it’s way into the hearts, minds, conversations even social media threads of fans and non fans alike. People around the globe are clamoring for their team to rise victorious from the fray. For most, the result of the skirmish won’t be known until one team is leaving the field beneath the shadow of defeat and the other basking in the glow of victory. For others however the answer can be had even before the teams feet touch the field.
Microsoft’s Bing powered Cortana, via Bing Predictions, and Google’s Google Cloud Platform have both demonstrated an uncanny ability to predict the winners and losers of each World Cup match they’ve applied their tecno-powered precognitive skills to. Though the results of their powerfully precise skills could be confused with having at their core supernatural origins the truth is founded more in the realm of empirical data and number crunching.
In over simplified terms Google amasses the numbers, ingests data, conducts modeling and crunches data to yield it’s up to this point perfectly precise predictions. Bing, to make it’s predictions, scours over teams’ records, elements of the schedule, location data related to home field advantage, weather, the playing surface, and considers other relevant variables.
Intriguing and interesting information to some. Somewhat boring to others. The results however are something we can all get excited about. Well unless you’re on the losing end of the predictions that is. Yes, because each of these programmable precogs got their predictions right 100% of the time to this point. But one of these clairvoyant computers has got to get it wrong at some point, right? Right.
Germany and France are scheduled to go head to head Friday July 4th. Google’s calling for a France victory. Cortana, via Bing Prediction, is rooting for Germany. They both can’t be right. So by the end of tomorrow’s game one of these prediction champs’ winning streak will end. As many are rooting for their favorite football (soccer) teams to emerge from the field victorious, fans of Cortana and Google are watching closely hoping for the win for either Microsoft’s new Bing powered headline grabbing digital assistant from the future, Cortana, or Google’s stoically efficient Google Cloud Platform.
Seeing as Cortana is a highly capable AI from the 26th century one would think she’d have this in the bag. Maybe she does. If indeed her prediction bests that of Google’s that would add up to a significant PR notch in Microsoft’s, Bing’s and Cortana’s belts. Microsoft can use any coverage that boosts it’s cool points. Currently XBox and increasingly Cortana are carrying the weight of Microsoft’s ‘cool’ on their backs. That’s a pretty heavy load considering the company is just in the early stages of a metamorphosis toward a more consumer friendly image. The highly popular, iconic Halo AI, who is now on Windows Phone, beating Google’s predictions has just the right marketing appeal to get people talking and thinking favorably about Cortana and the platform and company to which she belongs.
Bing which is of course the brains behind Cortana’s operation could certainly use some positive coverage. To the masses Bing is a second rate search engine, commanding only a fraction of the space dominated by Google. For Bing’s prediction to prove accurate above that of the market leader it would be like David’s one smooth stone taking down the armored and battle hardened Goliath. Microsoft could take such an opportunity to market Bing’s superiority using as the platform what is likely the biggest sporting event in the world. Bing has already taken the “Spotlight” from Google in OS X and iOS, Siri, and Facebook. If Cortana(Bing) comes out on top tomorrow it may be difficult for Google to save face.
If however Cortana comes up short, she is a time traveler. It’s therefore conceivable she’s perceiving an alternate timeline where her pick wins. Isn’t it? Anyway…
Here we are. France vs Germany. Google vs Cortana. The stage is set. Fans have picked sides. Who are you rooting for. I say BING it on!