Microsoft’s Cortana Looks to Dethrone Paul The Octopus
Cortana, Microsoft’s Windows Phone Assistant, is looking to oust the now departed Paul the Octopus’ throne as
prediction guru for the World Cup. So far the virtual assistant has a flawless record, successfully predicting the round of 16 knockout winners including Netherlands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil and now France.
At the heart of this is Bing’s new predictive system . Microsoft has implemented win/loss ratios, weather conditions, home advantages, game time, as well as other considerations for its evaluations.
So far it has Germany beating Algeria with a dooming 87.6 percent chance, as well as Brazil defeating Colombia with a 67.5 percent chance.
Paul the Octopus was brought to worldwide attention after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The cephalopod would choose between two glass cases, each with food in it and each with a flag from the opposing teams. Whichever box he chose from first would predict the winning team. Overall his success rate was over 85 percent and successfully predicted eight world cup matches in a row, including the final, having chose Spain as the winner over the Netherlands.
Paul died shortly after in 2010.
Cortana’s name comes from the popular game Xbox game Halo. She plays Master Chief’s virtual companion. While the game was voiced by actress Jen Taylor, Windows Phone’s Cortana synthesizes voices from more than one source, her being one of them.