February 05, 2016      

Apparently there’s no need to watch Super Bowl 50. Nobody is giving the Denver Broncos a chance. Not Vegas, not the so-called human experts, not even artificial intelligence (AI).

Microsoft Cortana is picking Carolina to win Super Bowl 50, saying the Panthers have a 64% chance to win. Here’s Cortana’s explanation:

“Carolina is expected to win by virtue of an excellent ability to force turnovers by their defense compared with a poor ability to protect the ball by the Denver offense. During the regular season, Carolina was the league’s #1 scoring offense and #6 scoring defense, while Denver was the #20 scoring offense and #4 scoring defense. Carolina’s rush offense was #2 vs #17 for Denver, and Denver’s rush defense was #3 while Carolina’s was #4. Both defenses are stout, so we expect Carolina’s much stronger offense to be the difference, becoming the first 18 win champion in 30 years.”

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This certainly shouldn’t be taken as gospel, but Cortana has correctly predicted the outright winner of 63% (169-97) of NFL games this season. And before Super Bowl 49, Cortana correctly predicted the New England Patriots to defeat the Seattle Seahawks.

And Cortana isn’t the only AI picking the Panthers. EA Sports, publisher of the mega-popular Madden NFL video game franchise, let its AI simulate Super Bowl 50 and had Carolina squeaking out a 24-20 win. EA predicts the Panthers go into half-time with a 17-0 lead and hold on for its first Super Bowl win.

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So, how accurate is EA Sports? Its simulations have correctly picked the winning Super Bowl team nine out of the last 12 years. Check out the stats below, via The Cheat Sheet:

Super Bowl XLIX – Right
Madden prediction: Patriots, 28, Seahawks, 24
Actual score: Patriots, 28, Seahawks, 24

Super Bowl XLVIII – Wrong
Madden: Broncos, 31, Seahawks, 28
Actual score: Seahawks 43, Broncos, 8

Super Bowl XLVII- Right
Madden: Ravens, 27, 49ers, 24
Actual score: Ravens, 34, 49ers, 31

Super Bowl XLVI – Right
Madden: Giants, 27, Patriots, 24
Actual score: Giants, 21, Patriots, 17

Super Bowl XLV – Wrong
Madden: Steelers, 24, Packers, 20
Actual score: Packers, 31, Steelers, 25

Super Bowl XLIV – Right
Madden: Saints 35, Colts 31
Actual score: Saints 31, Colts 17

Super Bowl XLIII – Right
Madden: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24
Actual score: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

Super Bowl XLII – Wrong
Madden: Patriots 38, Giants 30
Actual score: Giants 17, Patriots 14

Super Bowl XLI – Right
Madden: Colts 38, Bears 27
Actual score: Colts 29, Bears 17

Super Bowl XL – Right
Madden: Steelers 24, Seahawks 19
Actual score: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10

Super Bowl XXXIX – Right
Madden: Patriots 47, Eagles 31
Actual score: Patriots 24, Eagles 21

Super Bowl XXXVIII – Right
Madden: Patriots 23, Panthers 20
Actual Score: Patriots 32, Panthers 29