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Monday, June 22, 2020

Microsoft Relaunches Cortana without Alexa

Was initially impressed by the cooperation between Microsoft and Amazon, but admit I saw little from it.  Why not not have a joint effort to provide assistant intelligence?   All I saw was that you could ask Cortana things like "Ask Alexa ... "  but with little new regard for context of the question.  So you then could ask 'universal' things like the weather, wikipedia entries, states of connected systems ... but nothing that showed intelligence beyond the context of the device involved. Not very impressive beyond language processing.   And now MS has disconnected entirely, but promises continued collaboration.  Below a bit dated, but some insight to the state of assistance.

Microsoft launches Cortana app for Windows 10 without Amazon’s Alexa
By Khari Johnson in Venturebeat

Microsoft AI assistant Cortana is getting a dedicated app today for Windows 10 PCs. Unlike Cortana in the Start menu or pinned to the taskbar, the AI assistant can now function in a dedicated space users can resize, move, and interact with like any other PC program. Cortana responding to text commands in a dedicated app can be used to do things like start meetings, create reminders, ask for info from some native Microsoft apps, automatically suggest responses, and respond to questions like “Do I have an email from my boss?”

At launch, Cortana lead Andrew Shuman told VentureBeat the dedicated Cortana app will not respond to Alexa queries. In what may be the largest such partnership in the spirit of a multi-assistant world, Amazon and Microsoft partnered up in August 2018 to make Cortana available via Amazon Echo speakers and Alexa available through Windows 10. Few public steps have taken place since then to advance or deepen the partnership.  .... '

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