Cortana

Female voice assistants are sexist argues new UN report

Female voice assistants are sexist argues new UN report

Obsequious, coy, and above all female virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant are a widespread example of sexism, a new UN report argues, blasting gender bias coded into tech products. The use of default female voices for digital assistants, and their programmed reactions to insults and inappropriate requests, could be contributing to a growing gender gap, it's suggested.

Continue Reading

Microsoft’s Conversation Transcription demo wows as new hardware revealed

Microsoft’s Conversation Transcription demo wows as new hardware revealed

Microsoft has figured out real-time conversation transcription, revealing a new Azure-integrated conical reference design speaker along with a way to turn every phone and laptop in a meeting into an ad-hoc voice recognition array. The Build 2019 demo highlighted how a combination of edge devices and cloud processing could better work in harmony, as well as potential improve future smart speakers that could understand multiple commands and do away with the wake-word.

Continue Reading

Microsoft reveals AI tech for virtual agents worth talking to

Microsoft reveals AI tech for virtual agents worth talking to

Chatting with Cortana and other virtual agents looks set to get a lot more useful, with Microsoft announcing a new breed of intelligent agent at Build 2019. The software behemoth showed off its latest conversational interface at the annual developer event, debuting a completely fresh way of training - and interacting with - assistant technologies.

Continue Reading

Siri and Google Assistant lead the market amidst privacy concerns

Siri and Google Assistant lead the market amidst privacy concerns

In the battle of AI assistants, you might think that Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant has the lion's share of the market considering their pervasive presence in devices. Only one of that is correct, however, with Alexa taking just third place. Two surveys conducted by Microsoft reveal that Siri and Google Assistant are actually tied at the top. More interesting, however, are consumers' rather conflicted feelings about using these assistants when it comes to their privacy.

Continue Reading

Microsoft Surface Buds could see Cortana challenge AirPods

Microsoft Surface Buds could see Cortana challenge AirPods

Microsoft is reportedly preparing to take on Apple's AirPods with some smart wireless earbuds of its own, joining the line-up alongside the Surface Headphones. If the earbuds make it to market, it would mean further validation for the audio-focused wearable space, where virtual assistants communicate via voice interactions rather than showing data with displays.

Continue Reading

Cortana doesn’t need smart speakers to win insists Microsoft exec

Cortana doesn’t need smart speakers to win insists Microsoft exec

Microsoft isn't letting underwhelming interest in Cortana smart speakers sour it on the assistant technology, even if Amazon Echo and Google Home still get the lion's share of sales - and attention - in the connected home. The software giant still resists calls to develop its own smart speaker, instead relying on third-party hardware like the Harman Kardon Invoke to fill that niche.

Continue Reading

Cortana and the Windows 10 search bar are getting divorced

Cortana and the Windows 10 search bar are getting divorced

Cortana is getting separated from the Windows 10 search bar, with Microsoft's assistant getting a separate spot in the taskbar. The new functionality was released today in Windows 10 Build 18317 (19H1), the latest version of Microsoft's Insider Preview in the so-called Fast ring.

Continue Reading

This great Microsoft Surface Headphones deal won’t last long

This great Microsoft Surface Headphones deal won’t last long

Microsoft might not have been the first company you'd associate with audio equipment, but the Surface Headphones proved that, like in laptops, it was a force to be reckoned with. Announced earlier this year, the over-the-ear cans not only include active noise cancelation but Cortana integration, and now they've come in for a post-Christmas deal.

Continue Reading

Google Assistant was the smartest AI in 2018, but others are catching up

Google Assistant was the smartest AI in 2018, but others are catching up

Loup Ventures has published its annual smart speaker IQ test results, revealing how the four big personal assistant AIs performed when asked 800 questions each. Compared to the previous year, three products saw the biggest gain in IQ points and were able to answer a substantially higher percentage of questions versus 2017. However, Google Assistant still beat them all across the board.

Continue Reading

Now you can buy Amazon Echo devices from Microsoft

Now you can buy Amazon Echo devices from Microsoft

Amazon's Echo speakers and voice assistant Alexa are most synonymous, obviously, with Amazon the online store, but we're now seeing both offered in more and more places. One of the most surprising has been Microsoft, which seems to have acknowledged the shortcomings of its own assistant Cortana by cozying up with Alexa over the last few months in a number of ways. The latest is that Echo speakers are now sold directly by Microsoft both online and in store.

Continue Reading

Microsoft Surface Headphones revealed with Cortana built-in

Microsoft Surface Headphones revealed with Cortana built-in

While we expected the most of the hardware Microsoft announced today, the company still had a couple of surprises up its sleeve. The first was a follow-up to the Surface Studio, but the second was even more unexpected. As it turns out, Microsoft is making a pair of headphones. These aren't just any headphones, however; they're smart headphones.

Continue Reading

GLAS thermostat adds Alexa and Google Assistant support as preorders open

GLAS thermostat adds Alexa and Google Assistant support as preorders open

The striking GLAS thermostat has gained Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, with the two new AIs joining Cortana as the smart home gadget goes up for preorder. Announced last year, the voice-controlled HVAC controller has a distinctive translucent OLED screen which stands proud of the wall it's mounted on.

Continue Reading

1 2 3 4 Next