Cortana

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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Cortana can’t recognize music any more

Cortana can’t recognize music any more

Cortana is bucking the trend of smart assistants, which are usually found adding talents, by quietly dropping her ability to recognize songs. Microsoft's AI, available across on smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, and on the Invoke smart speaker, was previously able to listen to a snippet of music and tell you details about the artist and track.

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Microsoft’s Black Friday deals 2017: Xbox, Surface Laptop, more

Microsoft’s Black Friday deals 2017: Xbox, Surface Laptop, more

Thanksgiving isn't just about turkey, it's about escaping your relatives so you can hide in the bathroom and try to score a deal on a Surface Pro or an Xbox One S. Microsoft's Black Friday 2017 deals kick off from November 23, and they span gaming, through Windows Mixed Reality, and all the way to smart speakers. Read on for the highlights.

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Harman Kardon Invoke Review: Cortana finds her voice

Harman Kardon Invoke Review: Cortana finds her voice

Move aside, Alexa; back off, Google Assistant. Microsoft's Cortana is here, and she wants to be the de-facto virtual assistant for busy people in their busy homes. Breaking free of the smartphone and desktop for the first time, Cortana's newest form is the Harman Kardon Invoke, a new entrant to the burgeoning smart speaker market that promises audio quality to rival true music systems along with everything from both your home and your work lives.

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Cortana is now in Skype on iOS and Android to make chats easier

Cortana is now in Skype on iOS and Android to make chats easier

What would a chat bot do in a chat app? Now butt in hopefully. But Cortana could, at your command, chat for you if needed. Of course, it won't be holding a conversation with your friend but will instead suggest things to answer back. And if you need to, you can even talk to Cortana directly. That is what Cortana is bringing to Skype users on Android and iOS, bringing the battle of AI assistants to your messaging.

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Alexa, Siri are easily hacked, you won’t even hear it coming

Alexa, Siri are easily hacked, you won’t even hear it coming

Voice-controlled smart assistants are all the rage these days. Just look back at IFA 2017 to see how many devices were proud to announce support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri (via HomeKit). They are admittedly pretty convenient and powerful, but those same strengths might actually be their Achilles’ heel as well. Chinese researchers have demonstrated that Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant can be easily told to do things without the knowledge, much less permission, of their owners. All by saying commands that no human can actually hear.

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Alexa and Cortana become best friends later this year

Alexa and Cortana become best friends later this year

Amazon and Microsoft have come together to make a rather surprising announcement: later this year, Cortana and Alexa will be able to talk to one another. Cortana, of course, is Microsoft's own AI assistant, and even though she may have lost a platform with the decline of Windows Phone, there's still a major push underway to make her an integral part of Windows 10 devices. With Alexa compatibility on the way, Cortana could become even more prevalent.

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