Bing has correctly predicted the winners of all World Cup matches in the knockout stage, including Argentina’s triumph over Germany yesterday.
This isn't the first time Microsoft's search engine has shown its startingly accurate prediction. Outside of its recent foray into the sports market, it was (almost) spot on with reality TV shows such as the last Voice, where they failed to predict the outcome of only one round the entire season.
Hello, sports fans
Of course, so-called “skill-based” reality TV comes from a very different place where popularity plays a significant role in results. In sports (ie. an actual skill-based competition) the size of your fanbase hardly affects a team’s chances of winning.
To that end, Bing incorporated data such as win/loss ratios, home field advantage, proximity, strength of schedule, grass and weather influences to create an outcome. Then they tinker their outcome based on search results, which reflects circulation of expert opinions, and betting rings, sorry, prediction markets to account for the power of groupthink.
Initial results were fairly promising for a non-aquatic non-cute underdog World Cup prediction engine. Bing predicted matches leading up to knockouts with about 60 per cent accuracy, which couldn’t be helped, perhaps, considering the various twists that occurred then—they failed to predict America’s or Costa Rica’s performance, or Spain’s early loss.
Yes, unfortunately, not much better results than what you could’ve listed from your neighbourhood football junkie. But they’re turned it back. They’ve knocked the ball out of the park (*Warning* incorrect sport metaphor. *Warning*) since then, predicting the winners of all 14 knockout matches.
With only the final match left, Bing has hedged their bets on Germany but the pressure mounts for Bing to land their hole-in-one. (Warning: incorrect sport. Warning: incorrect metaphor.) If you’ve been sitting on your, ahem, contribution to the local prediction market, this may now be the time to act.
EA's FIFA game also predicted Germany's win, so thus far, tech is on the Germans' side.