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Microsoft is working on its own version of Apple’s Siri for Windows Phones, PC, and Xbox One, Currently known as Cortana, who is named after the artificial intelligence character from the Halo series. This Siri-like Cortana virtual assistant will have the ability to learn and adapt using “machine-learning technology” and uses similar tools that powers search engine like Bing.
Microsoft has discussed the development of creating its own Siri version in the past, but mentioned that it would only reveal its progress when it had something “more revolutionary than evolutionary” to show.
ZDNet reported that “Cortana will be more than just an app that lets users interact with their phones more naturally using voice commands. Cortana is core to the makeover of the entire ‘shell’–the core services and experience–of the future versions of Windows Phone, Windows, and the Xbox One operating systems, from what I’ve heard from my contacts,”
“We could come out with something now like them [Apple], but it wouldn’t be state of the art,” said Microsoft Bing boss Stefan. “There are teams working hot and heavy on this right now.” the site reports
Cortana will use TellMe’s speech recognition tech and advanced social graph data. It’s expected to come out with a new Windows Phone build sometime in early 2014. Afterwards, Cortana is planned to be part of both the Windows PC and Xbox One later on. Xbox One builds will feature a natural-language detection that’s similar to the kind of algorithms that Apple’s Siri uses. This will allow “users to ask questions and see results in real-time”.
Gaming After Hours Perspective
The idea of being able to interact with a virtual companion has always been the in minds of many peoples imagination. But I can’t help but think of what Peter Molyneaux tried to do when he showcased “Milo” for the Kinect was known as “Project Natal.” It was an interesting concept and caused many people’s imagination to run wild. I wonder if this virtual assistant will simply be a voice that you can communicate with or will it have an actual virtual body. Personally, I would find it annoying to have it take up real estate on a screen. Psychologically, having an actual virtual body that you can visually associate and connect with is promising but I wonder if it’s needed. All I can think about is that “office assistant” Clip character that helped with you Microsoft Word. He an interesting and helpful but he’d get annoying after a while because he’d cover things up with his clip-like body.
Regardless of what our concerns may be now, it is wise to not pass judgment without collecting the facts first. So what do you all think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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