Microsoft is taking on two tough opponents who know all the answers–IBM’s Jeopardy-winning Watson and Apple’s personal assistant Siri. So how best to position its Cortana app for Windows phones, so that people get a sense of what Cortana can do? Nothing better than predicting the future for making yourself valuable–ask a hedge fund manager. Cortana got off to a good start by going 15-1 in the knockout stage of this year’s World Cup in Brazil. But now comes a chance for the software to really sway American minds–the NFL football season.
Cortana picks did pretty well in week 1, going 10-6. But the interesting part is that the system is supposed to learn from greater data intake as the season goes on, so week 1 could be its worst week–theoretically. For week 2 Cortana likes the Steelers, Bills, Redskins, Titans, Cardinals, Patriots, Saints, Bengals, Panthers, Buccaneers, Seahawks, Texans Packers, Broncos, 49ers and Eagles. Nobody is a bigger favorite according to Microsoft than the 49ers, with a 78.9% chance of victory.