Articles about cortana

Hey Alexa, Siri and Cortana: Cisco says you’re bad at business

VID Cisco will shortly give the world a voice assistant it believes has a shot at making life uncomfortable for Siri, Cortana and Alexa in the office. The company’s effort won’t be a general-purpose bot. Instead the company plans to make it a part of its Spark collaboration portfolio and have it do things like place calls, find …
Siri logo

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

If you saw someone being assaulted, you'd probably whip out your phone and dial for help. But when one of our newly ubiquitous devices hears a crime, it does nothing. If Alexa or Google Assistant or Siri hears an assault, or a rape, they sit there waiting for their cues to act. But that's a load of malarkey. Listening for a …
Mark Pesce, 26 Feb 2018
Robot maid

Talk down to Siri like it's a mere servant – your safety demands it

In the middle of the night, the 83-year-old woman received a call. A caller identifying himself as a policeman angrily reported that her grandson – identified by name – had landed in jail. He'd hit a policeman while driving and TXTing. The policeman said they needed $4,000 in bail – immediately. The old woman hung up, but the …
Mark Pesce, 12 Feb 2018
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

When you play this song backwards, you can hear Satan. Play it forwards, and it hijacks Siri, Alexa

Computer science boffins affiliated with IBM and universities in China and the United States have devised a way to issue covert commands to voice-based AI software – like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana – by encoding them in popular songs. They refer to these tweaked tunes, which issue mostly …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Jan 2018

Cortana. Whatever happened to world domination?

Analysis Somewhat harshly, Microsoft's Cortana was pronounced dead this week. Torn between wholesaling and retailing Cortana, Microsoft ended up doing a bit of both, and failed badly. It's also torn between what the brand actually means – an Alexa voice assistant, or an IBM Watson-like brand for analytics, covering a multitude of …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2018

Please, please, c'mon, just... please, pretty please, just, like, please use our AI – Microsoft

Microsoft has bunged a load of AI-powered features into its software – from Azure and Office 365 to Bing and Cortana. The capabilities, a large collection of individually minor updates and new stuff, are part of an effort by the Windows giant to translate its machine-learning research work into things that will actually matter …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2017

Microsoft scoops Search UI out from the gaping black maw of Cortana

Microsoft is experimenting with taking Search out of Cortana and making it more Mac-like in the newest Windows 10 build. Searching currently is funnelled through the Cortana UI, whose emblem, appropriately enough, is a black hole. Cortana bungs together many things besides search – tasks and notes and even bots. Cortana is …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2017

Cortana, please finish my sentences in Skype texts for me

If you're really, really awkward in Skype text conversations, or you just want someone to think you're paying attention without all that pesky human interaction, you can now get help from Cortana. All you need do is add Cortana as a Skype contact – currently, only if you're in the USA, running Skype on Android and iOS – and …
Alexa and Cortana, together at last

Tech soap-opera latest: Alexa marries Cortana, will share custody of customers

Analysis To encourage people to demand more of their software-based assistants, Amazon and Microsoft plan to link their respective voice-based helpers – Alexa and Cortana – so they can talk to one another. The tie-up, to be consummated later this year, will allow Alexa users to book meetings and read email messages, among other things …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Aug 2017

Virtual assistant backlash imminent so buy them anyway

Gartner has predicted a backlash against voice assistants like Siri – but recommends that businesses deploy them anyway. This we learn from its "Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace 2017" report, which positions virtual assistants right at the top of the "Peak of Inflated Expectations", and about to embark on a dizzying ride …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2017
Cortana photo via Shutterstock

Got bot? How to put it to work with Microsoft's Cortana Skills

Hands on Microsoft made a big deal of Cortana skills at its Build developer conference earlier this year – the business of creating voice interactions with users via the digital assistant built into Windows 10 and also available for iOS and Android. Why does the company consider this strategic? The answer was given by a presenter at …
Tim Anderson, 26 Jul 2017

Amazon announces new Echo just as Microsoft's first Cortana-powered clone breaks cover

Amazon has announced the first Echo to feature a built-in display – one of 2017's stranger gadgets – just as Microsoft's Echo clone broke cover. The Harmon Kardon Invoke is a voice-enabled 360 speaker powered by Microsoft's Cortana. The news spoiled the announcement of Amazon's new Echo Show, which loosely resembles an iPad …
Small robots photo via Shutterstock

GitHubbers invited to hack Davis, the microservices chat bot

Dynatrace has launched a virtual digital assistant named Davis which you can talk to using Amazon's Alexa or via text on Slack through a proprietary engine - and has invited devs to take a pop at it. The idea is you quiz Davis on the status of your systems, as opposed to logging in and typing. Behind Davis lies a Node.js …
Gavin Clarke, 7 Feb 2017

Microsoft's device masterplan shows it's still fighting Apple

In its advice to the manufacturing community, Microsoft has said it wants PC builders to focus on quality and features that differentiate PCs from Macs. It's also seeking to migrate high-end features, and AR, into cheaper kit. Redmond's Channel 9 blog recently posted the WinHEC presentation made in Shenzhen to dozens of local …
Robot AI Woman

Revamped Cortana finally lands on UK mobe mass market

Microsoft’s ravenous, data hungry ‘personal assistant’ Cortana has arrived on iOS and Android in the UK, and the app has been revamped. Cortana has been available here since July 2014 on Windows Phones, and last year on Windows 10. But “she” finally arrives on devices people actually use. The UI overhaul is to address the …

OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?

Analysis One of the oddest things about this week's Google hardware launch was to constantly hear the same phrase over and over again from everyone in the same room: "OK Google." Why? Because the ad giant has chosen that phrase to wake up its digital assistant, whether on the new Pixel phone or the new Google Home. OK Google. OK Google …

Do AI chat bots need a personality bypass – or will we only trust gabber 'droids with character?

Machine communication is an area generating much excitement in AI. The ability to give machines a voice and personality has been the subject of many sci-fi films, and the push in natural language processing has brought that idea closer to reality. All the big AI players are investing in some sort of chatbot. Google just …
Katyanna Quach, 23 Sep 2016
Cortana on a Mac courtesy of Parallels 11

Microsoft's beta language service gets C# dev kit

Microsoft has pushed out a C# software development kit (SDK) for its in-beta language parsing API, LUIS. LUIS – the Language Understanding Intelligent Service – is another chunk of the chatbot capability Redmond is so keen on. It's a model-making environment which Microsoft reckons helps developers teach existing apps to …

Create a news alert about cortana, or find more stories about cortana.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018