Paul the octopus might have been the star of the 2010 World Cup with his accurate predictions, but Microsoft’s Cortana assistant is proving a worthy digital replacement for the now-deceased cephalopod. Microsoft started adding World Cup predictions to Cortana over the weekend, and she has successfully predicted four results, backing Brazil, Colombia, the Netherlands, and Costa Rica in their final 16 games. The new prediction functionality is part of regular updates that Microsoft makes to Cortana every two weeks, bringing simple improvements and new data to the service.
Cortana is currently predicting France and Germany will progress to the quarter-final stages today, both of whom are favorites in their games. The results will further test Microsoft’s Bing predictions engine, which has previously forecast who would get voted off or win The Voice, Dancing With the Stars, and American Idol. Microsoft uses models to evaluate World Cup teams based on win / loss / tie records, game time, weather conditions, home advantages, and other factors. Some will be hoping Cortana isn't 100 percent though, as she's currently predicting Belgium will beat the USA in their game tomorrow.