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Microsoft Working on New Siri Competitor Inspired by Halo's Cortana AI Character

dgstorm

Editor in Chief

Halo fans will already be intimately familiar with Microsoft's newest software tech innovation which will be released next year. Microsoft plans to launch their own Siri-like voice activated virtual assistant, and it will be called "Cortana." For those uninitiated with Halo, Cortana was the AI personality which helped Master Chief on his adventures fighting hordes of alien invaders. Microsoft wants to model their new voice activated search app on this personality.

It will certainly be tough for Microsoft to compete in this arena. Both Apple and Google have a big jump on Microsoft with Siri and Google Now respectively. Still, Microsoft plans to differentiate their product by building it around an adaptable machine-learning technology they are developing. In essence, they are attempting to actually build Cortana in some form. Here's a quote from ZDNet with more of the details,

Cortana, Microsoft's assistant technology, likewise will be able to learn and adapt, relying on machine-learning technology and the "Satori" knowledge repository powering Bing.

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.

In Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's strategy memo from July about Microsoft's reorg, there were hints about Cortana. Ballmer mentioned that Microsoft will be working, going forward, on "a family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell."

That "shell" is more than just the Metro/Modern/tiled interface. Ballmer continued:

"Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it."

The coming shell won't simply surface information stored on users' phones, PCs and consoles like a search engine can do today. It also will "broker information among our services to bring them together on our devices in ways that will enable richer and deeper app experiences," Ballmer said in his memo. (That "brokering" is handled by Bing's Satori, which intelligently interconnects entities, i.e., information about people, places and things.)
It's interesting to see how things are evolving in the tech world. I can almost imagine a day in the future when Google Now, Siri and Cortana each evolve into a real Artificial Intelligence. This leaves the question, "Will they decide to eradicate humanity, or will they simply decide to go shopping together?"

Source: ZDNet
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
Well, they certainly have the resources to throw at it, despite risks and ambitions.

Though when it comes to Siri and Jellybean's voice thing, I'll always remember the "scallion/stallion" video. *so funny*

[video=youtube;grmixtB9dZM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grmixtB9dZM[/video]
 
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jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Microsoft actually has an Ace up their sleeve, the have been doing this for a long time with their TellMe purchase a few years ago, it powers the Bing search on Mobile already and is used by many Telco's and PBX Systems.
 

Cooknn

New Member
I hope they pull it off. Siri is a huge part of what I dig about my iPhone. Would love to grab a Windows Phone to compliment my Surface RT, but not without a great voice assistant. One that actually works.
 

machistmo

Active Member
I hope they pull it off. Siri is a huge part of what I dig about my iPhone. Would love to grab a Windows Phone to compliment my Surface RT, but not without a great voice assistant. One that actually works.
You are not suggesting that Siri is actually worth anything are you? I find her to be utterly useless and her responses when asked to do simple things she should be able to do but actually can't can only have been put there by programmers that knew she was a gimmick all along.

However it should be noted that I can use my iPhone 5 to respond in these forums, something that is impossible using all software interface on the Thinkpad Tablet2 running windows 8.1, something I find incredibly ironic and sadfacey. :(
 

b52hbuff

New Member
Microsoft has been doing voice technology for a while. I had a Windows Mobile phone when the original iPhone came out. The native voice recognition built into the phone was years ahead of iPhone and the later released Apple "Voice Control".

The MS version didn't require training. You could say "Call <contact> @ <mobile|cell|home>". Those early experiences shape how I talk to my Siri phone today. The MS version also allowed access to signal strength and battery level. Two things that Siri still can't do...
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Microsoft has been doing voice technology for a while. I had a Windows Mobile phone when the original iPhone came out. The native voice recognition built into the phone was years ahead of iPhone and the later released Apple "Voice Control".

The MS version didn't require training. You could say "Call <contact> @ <mobile|cell|home>". Those early experiences shape how I talk to my Siri phone today. The MS version also allowed access to signal strength and battery level. Two things that Siri still can't do...
This is what happened with Android as well. My boss has an Android phone while her boss has an iPhone. One day, when Siri was new, her boss called her in all excited to show off. He described how he could call people just by talking to his phone.

She gave him a look and said, "Mine could already do that." They both commanded their phones to call each other. Her phone called his first. End of story. :LOL:

Oh, that's not to say either haven't improved significantly since then, but it's always amusing when people think Apple's Siri is the gold standard or so shiny new; MS preceded, ICS preceded, then when JB came out, the quality tests still indicated Android's version was better (I didn't catch MS comparisons). Oh well. Now we get more MS into the mix, which is good. I'm curious how theirs will work. To be honest, the voice stuff never interested me much anyway, because it's still a distraction when driving. ;)
 
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