FIFA World Cup 2022: Did AI predict the right winner?

FIFA World Cup 2022: Did AI predict the right winner?
Photo: Ashif Ahmed Rudro

Qatar World Cup 2022 has taken us on a ride for the past month. We witnessed one shocking outcome after another and now all our eyes are on France and Argentina. As we near the grand finale of an unbelievable season of football and fans ready themselves for another round of speculation, it is time to rewind a little and see how well the psychic animals, supercomputers, and artificial intelligence had predicted the outcome initially.

At the beginning of the tournament, AI of different sources had come up with very different predictions. One such forecasting that got a huge response was done by a supercomputer of the BCA research institute. This supercomputer had predicted Portugal to be facing off Argentina in the finals, and Argentina lifting the Cup eventually. With Argentina well on its way to the finals, we can say that their prediction has not been entirely false. On the other hand, however, Portugal's unceremonious exit from the quarter-finals means that we will not be seeing the GOATs play against each other after all.

The AI by OPTA, a leading sports data producer, has not had the same luck as BCA after naming Brazil as the possible winner of FIFA 2022. Brazil, like Portugal, also had to leave this World Cup at the quarter-finals following their defeat by Croatia, leaving the Brazilian fans in tears.  

Another surprise came during the tournament as France advanced through the stages like true champions. Almost all AI predictions had completely overlooked the team. France apparently did not pay heed to any of it and continued to give their best until the latest semi-finals, defeating the marvellous team of Morocco and making their way to the last and final game.

Apart from the AI, we have also had a number of furry fortune tellers use their 'psychic' abilities to predict the match outcomes. Alfie the alpaca made quite the name for himself in the group stages when he correctly predicted England and USA advancing to the knockout round and Wales and Iran returning home. Alfie however seems to have shied off after the group stages and with finals closer than ever, this alpaca has not predicted a winner yet.

Among other animals we have cats Sam and Frodo, and Idril the hamster agreeing Argentina will indeed take the Cup. But the debate continues among them too, as Saruman the snail claims that France is the ultimate winner of World Cup 2022.

From being one of the most controversial to the most expensive and ultimately the most unpredictable season, there is no doubt that Qatar World Cup is going to be the subject of countless discussions and debates for months to come. Not only did we see big teams like Portugal, Germany, and Brazil take their leave too early, the smaller teams like Morocco, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have created a whole new image for themselves among football fans.

We are at the very end of this amazing game now. And although it looks like the entire world seems to be rooting for Leo Messi to lift the glory, we know for a fact that France is not going to go easy on Argentina in the finals. The teams are ready and so are we.