Back in June, Microsoft gave Windows Phone’s personal assistant the ability to make predictions on World Cup games. It started off as a fun little novelty — the AI inside your phone is making a guess! — but it quickly became a lot more than that: the assistant, Cortana, was actually predicting the outcomes correctly. It ended up nailing all 15 of the knockout games. That’s because Cortana’s data was coming from Microsoft’s own research arm, and Microsoft is now looking to invest more heavily in its ability to predict the future. This week it’s opening the Microsoft Prediction Lab, which includes a website that conducts polling that’s meant to predict the upcoming US congressional and gubernatorial races. However, Microsoft isn’t using polling in the traditional sense. Rather than getting a diverse sample of voting opinions and extrapolating from there, Microsoft is instead getting whatever respondents it can and is primarily interested in who they think is going to win.

Read the full story at The Verge.

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