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 noted here in this Bing Blog post, the model in which Bing uses to predict sporting events like these soccer matches consists of a few things. 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. For more on how Bing makes predictions, read this blog post from Next at Microsoft.
It is also pretty amazing we were able to enable the prediction behavior in Cortana in just a week and have it light up on people’s Windows Phone 8.1 devices.
We’re excited to be able to do more of these types of things with Cortana in the future.