Microsoft wants to expand its personal virtual assistant Cortana by bringing it to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. The tech giant has been using Cortana on its phones for over a year now as an alternative to Apple’s Siri. Cortana is also set to launch with Windows 10 by the end of the year.
A new look at Cortana
Microsoft also hopes to enhance Cortana with an artificial intelligence project called “Einstein.” The project uses special technology to read and understand emails. It could include data analysis that would make it more like Google Now. Such a feature could allow Microsoft to predict when a user was to go to the airport, for example. The technology would rely on emails, current GPS location and current traffic locations.
The company’s current chief executive officer, Satya Nadella, has been the one to bring many of Microsoft’s apps to rival platforms. He feels sharing products with other platforms will only prove beneficial to the company. One proof of his success is the Office suite, a popular collection of productivity apps which includes Word and Excel. Microsoft’s Office suite is a strong competitor to Apple’s iWork.
Cortana and artificial intelligence
Microsoft Research managing director Eric Horvitz claims the new data analysis technology will play a key role in Cortana’s future. Unfortunately, he declined to open up about plans to expand Cortana beyond Windows.
It is important to point out that artificial intelligence has a broad definition. Computers and smartphones already feature some dexterity with spoken language and data sifting. Microsoft wants to take it to the next level with better speech recognition and other features. Intelligent data could pave the way for Microsoft’s success in the mobile market. Siri and Google’s voice assistant remain limited for now. Siri works by responding to requests, and Google’s service offers a very limited take on predictive information.