Bing magic helps Cortana predict the winner in 15 out of 16 Soccer (Football) matches in Brazil
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.
5 tips for using Cortana reminders
You might think you’re “forgetful” or “scatterbrained” or “have a mind like a sieve.” But how many times have you remembered that you’re supposed to collect your kid from the bus stop right up until it’s time to go—and then gotten distracted by some shiny object? Leaving your innocent child standing alone under a broken streetlamp with tumbleweeds blowing all around? For me, the answer is a number between 1 and 50.
Lately, I’ve been relying on Cortana—the new digital assistant in Windows Phone 8.1—to prevent such unfortunate events. I press and hold the Search button, and Cortana pops up, ready for my commands. “Remind me to pick up Louie at 3:20,” I say to her, or “Remind me to take my memory-boosting herbal supplement every morning at 8.” She can even give me reminders based on location (“Remind me to call Suze when I leave work”) or person (“Remind me to ask about summer vacation next time I talk to Mom”).
These reminder basics are awesome enough. To get even more out of reminders, try the following power tips:
1. Say “Any” thing – If you tell Cortana, “Remind me to get eggs next time I’m at the supermarket,” she’ll show you a list of nearby stores to choose from. Tap Any and she’ll remind you the next time you’re at any supermarket.
2. Lose the snooze – Sometimes you need more than a five-minute snooze delay. When a reminder pops up at an inconvenient time, tap the reminder’s title and you’ll be able to set a new time.
3. So many memories – To see (and reactivate) completed reminders from your past, press the Search button, tap Cortana’s Notebook > Remind me, and then tap More > Reminder history. Tap a reminder to reuse it. This is great when you accidentally tap Complete on a reminder you still need—something I seem to do on a daily basis.
4. Pin the Tile – I generally like to use voice commands to order up my reminders, but my husband doesn’t much appreciate that when I wake up at 3 A.M. stressing about something I need to do. So I use my Remind me Tile from my Start screen to (silently) add a reminder in Cortana’s Notebook. To pin the Tile to Start, press the Search button, tap Cortana’s Notebook > Remind me, and then tap Pin.
5. Set some nicknames – Use nicknames when you set up your inner circle (Mom, Louie, Pookie) and favorite places (gym, school, bakery). Then you can use the nicknames when you set reminders (and when you call and text people, too).