Cortana

Microsoft just bought the key to making Cortana far smarter

Microsoft just bought the key to making Cortana far smarter

Microsoft has acquired Semantic Machines, an artificial intelligence startup which could help Cortana hold more natural dialog with users. The California company has focused its efforts on so-called "conversational AI," moving beyond the more basic back-and-forth currently supported by the Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Amazon's Alexa.

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Alexa x Cortana demo video: Microsoft and Amazon, BFF

Alexa x Cortana demo video: Microsoft and Amazon, BFF

Amazon and Microsoft just combined forces officially, tag-teaming their personal assistants Alexa and Cortana through the future. These two voice-activated smart assistant overlord software and cloud intelligence systems will work together on devices of all sorts. In short, it would seem that Alexa is going to handle "personal" stuff while Cortana's going to handle all the "business."

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Cortana Outlook support arrives on Windows 10 and Invoke speaker

Cortana Outlook support arrives on Windows 10 and Invoke speaker

Microsoft has just launched Cortana integration for Outlook, but not for mobile users. The launch follows a report earlier this week claiming that integration will arrive in the future for Outlook on Android and iOS. While mobile users will have to continue waiting, Windows 10 users can now have Cortana read their email if they use Outlook.

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Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

We are well in the age of AI. No not the genocidal kind of dystopian science fiction. Fortunately, the AI we have today isn’t yet that smart, though they’re smart enough to be on our smartphones. From Google to Amazon to even Huawei, AI-powered smart assistants are more and more becoming a bullet point in phone spec sheets and marketing materials. But how smart are they really, especially in competition with each other? We take a look at some of the features available, or absent, from smart assistants to find out.

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Cortana bypassed passwords to browse sites on locked PCs

Cortana bypassed passwords to browse sites on locked PCs

AI-powered smart assistants have become the newest weapons tech companies have in the market. For some people, they are life-changing and habit-forming. For others, they are mere curiosities. But for a certain group of tech-savvy users, they are opportunities to hack into devices. Two Israeli security researchers have come across a way to download malware onto a Windows PC, even when it’s locked. All because Cortana might have been too helpful to give users, whether its own or others, a helping hand.

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Cortana Outlook support tipped in testing for Android and iOS

Cortana Outlook support tipped in testing for Android and iOS

Microsoft offers Android and iOS apps for its Outlook email product, and soon those apps will support the company's digital assistant Cortana, at least according to sources speaking about the matter. Once the integration goes live, Outlook users on Android and iOS will be able to ask Cortana to read their emails, get email from specific individuals, get email updates, and more.

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Lenovo Yoga 730 packs Alexa and Cortana into the same 2-in-1

Lenovo Yoga 730 packs Alexa and Cortana into the same 2-in-1

Lenovo has showed up to MWC 2018 with a pair of new Yoga 2-in-1 notebooks in tow. The company today announced the 13-inch and 15-inch Yoga 730, which offer a number of improvements over their predecessors. Perhaps the most interesting thing about these new Yoga notebooks, however, isn't the hardware on the inside, but how Lenovo approaches AI smart assistants.

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Xiaomi Cortana smart speaker in works amid Microsoft AI deal

Xiaomi Cortana smart speaker in works amid Microsoft AI deal

With smart speakers featuring Alexa, Google Assistant, and now even Siri on shelves, it's certainly felt like it was only a matter of time before we'd see one featuring Cortana. Though Microsoft's smart assistant is limited to the Cortana app on smartphones, she's a rather central part of the Windows 10 experience for most people, so a speaker boasting her capabilities would make sense. A new partnership between Xiaomi and Microsoft might bring about such a speaker, with a larger focus on AI services in general for the two companies.

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Microsoft Cortana now features IFTTT integration

Microsoft Cortana now features IFTTT integration

While Microsoft's Cortana struggles to keep up with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant in the growing smart assistant market, it's still making effort to stay relevant. Its latest feature is integration with IFTTT, the platform that lets users connect hundreds of different apps and services, creating automated processes through the use of "triggers" and "actions."

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Smart assistants need to be more proactive to be useful

Smart assistants need to be more proactive to be useful

You have an important meeting with a client at 9 a.m. but you got so engrossed in that novel you read at night that you overslept. Luckily, your smart assistant (let’s call it “Bucksbee”), sounded a reminder an hour before your appointment. You frantically prepare, without giving your phone a second glance. You rush out the door to the nearest bus stop, only to be drenched in an unexpected (for you) downpour. You hop on a bus, soaking wet, but had enough time to try in the unexpected (for you) heavy traffic. You mentally compose a profound apology email and then whip out your phone, only to see the client sent an email hours earlier canceling the meeting for an emergency. We humans sometimes aren’t smart, but our smart assistants are often not that much better.

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Cortana on iPad gets native support

Cortana on iPad gets native support

Those of you who use Microsoft's Cortana on iOS have a pleasant surprise awaiting you on the App Store today. Microsoft has delivered an update to the Cortana app, and though it isn't massive, it's still pretty significant. This update tosses functionality for iPad into the mix, allowing it to run natively on Apple's tablet.

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Here’s what the stunning Cortana-powered GLAS thermostat will cost you

Here’s what the stunning Cortana-powered GLAS thermostat will cost you

The striking GLAS thermostat, which takes on Nest and others with its Microsoft Cortana integration, will go up for preorder in March, new details have confirmed today. Made by Johnson Controls, the thermostat is a pane of translucent OLED touchscreen mounted on the wall, though your fingers aren't required when it comes to setting the temperature.

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