07/10/2014 04:45 EDT | Updated 09/09/2014 05:59 EDT

Microsoft digital assistant on a World Cup prediction roll

Meet this World Cup’s Paul the Octopus. It’s a digital assistant created by a multinational corporation named after a famed video game character. 

Her “name” is “Cortana.” Named after a character in the blockbuster Halo video game franchise, Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri, a smart digital assistant that is paired with the Windows Phone. If you ask her who will win a World Cup match, she’ll respond with a quippy, pun-filled remark on who she “thinks” will win.

She has picked the winner in each of the knockout matches at the World Cup. That’s 14 straight correct predictions.

It’s better than the beloved Paul, who predicted only Germany’s matches in 2010 along with the final, but managed to get all eight outcomes correct. He also went 4-for-6 in Euro 2008, and ended up 12-for-14 in his career before he died of complications due to being an octopus in 2010.

Cortana is predicting a World Cup parade for Germany, along with a Brazil win in the third-place game. 

Before Cortana showed up, no real gimmicky prognosticator had captured the imagination quite like Paul in 2010.

The one that’s come closest is a camel, Shaheen, from Dubai. His claim to fame, aside from being a camel, is that he’s gotten 18 matches correct – but that’s out of 27 total. 


This is a quiz testing your knowledge of 2014 World Cup animal prognosticators. An incorrect answer will open you up to the ridicule of the internet. Choose wisely.