We are awash in prognostications.
It is, of course, all guessing. Some guesses are just more educated than others.
But, as digital voice assistants become more intelligent and lifelike (not to mention ubiquitous), we wondered if they could provide a better crystal ball? They are, after all, backed by some of the biggest, most powerful companies in the world with access to gobs of data and computational abilities that would leave Matt Damon in "Good Will Hunting" crying in his mop bucket.
Surely, they have something valuable to say?
Apple's Siri followed the Bill Bellichik interview method – deflect and hope the interrogator goes away quickly.
She reported only that the Rams are favored to beat the Bengals by 4 points.
As dogged journalists, we couldn't accept such a vanilla answer.
Who's the better team, Siri?
She rattled off something about each team's records which, while factually correct, wasn't quite what we were looking for.
Ok, who's your favorite NFL team?
"I tend to root for the underdog, but more than anything I just want the games to be competitive."
And with that, we thanked her for her time and showed ourselves out.
Microsoft's Cortana didn't even get close to a prediction.
When we asked her who would win, she served up an article about where to get pizza and wings to go on Super Bowl Sunday. Helpful, but did she hear the question?
How about a favorite team?
That returned a blurb about how popular the Packers are. Closer, but not by much.
Maybe I was making this too complicated? Time to dial things back. She must have a favorite color?
"Right now, it's coffee. With cream."
Ah, Alexa, a breath of fresh air.
Eschewing complex analysis and esoteric stats, she went with her digital gut.
"The Rams sure know how to butt heads, but the Bengals seem to have nine lives. My prediction? These underdogs, I mean under-cats, are gonna pounce. Go Bengals, Who Dey!"
This was followed by a roar that would rouse the tigers at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden from their afternoon naps.
Here was an unambiguous opinion. A choice. For some, an affirmation.
Finally, an opinion worth listening to.
What have you been asking your digital assistant about the game? Tell me about the results at [email protected]