Saturday, 14 March 2015

Microsoft to launch Cortana for Android and iOS devices

Microsoft’s ‘Einstein’ team working towards launching a new version of its “personal assistant” Cortana in Windows 10 which will also be available as standalone app in iOS and Android smartphones and tablets

Microsoft’s Cortana is the intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator for Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft’s Cortana app is somewhat similar to Apple’s Siri or Google’s “OK Google” and helps users to use voice to make a call, send a text message, search the web or open an app.
Microsoft’s research team called “Einstein” is working towards launching a new and advanced version of the Cortana which will available in desktops as well as smartphones powered by Windows 10 by this autumn.
The Einstein team is also working on a plan to make Cortana available as a standalone app for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android smartphones and tablets.
The name Cortana has been derived from an artificial intelligence character in the video game series “Halo”.
“Artificial Intelligence” is a broad and generic term and in general most of the Android and iOS devices which uses the voice searches show how the devices can use artificial intelligence for searches or send emails or whatever the user wants. “This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame,” said Eric Horvitz, Managing Director of Microsoft Research and a part of the Einstein project, during an interview.
Microsoft’s earlier digital assistants like Microsoft Bob and Office Assistant Clippy failed miserably. This time Microsoft is pretty confident of its ‘Intelligent Cortana’ as it believes that the vast research which Microsoft has put on speech recognition, searches and Microsoft’s apt knowledge of the machine will transform this new digital assistant into an excellent intelligent “agent” which will anticipate the “needs of its users ” and not merely respond to the user’s requests as in case of its rivals Siri or OK Google. Horvitz noted that, “We’re defining the competitive landscape… of who can provide the most supportive services that make life easier, keep track of things, that complement human memory in a way that helps us get things done.” Its almost a year that Microsoft is running its Personal assistant Cortana on the Windows phone.
Some amazing services which an user can experience if their phones have Cortana would be explained with the following example: Suppose user received an email regarding some meeting and had to take a flight for the same after some days then Cortana would remember this and notify user about this meeting not only that it would also check the flight status automatically by using the GPS system to check the location of user and also check the traffic condition and let the user know when they can leave for airport. Sounds really amazing! because the Artificial Intelligence used in Cortana is exceptionally remarkable to provide help in the day to day activities.
Horvitz says, “Einstein was brilliant about space and time. It’s using brilliance about space and time generally in our agents.  The key to Cortana’s success will be knowing where a user is, what time it is, and what they are trying to do. Albert Einstein’s work on the relationship between space and time gave rise to Microsoft’s secret project his name.” Microsoft is trying to get success on its rival’s platform with Cortana, as this could relatively create a new market segment for Windows which is now being known for its operating system.
News reports indicate that Google and Apple are also rigorously working towards updating their respective digital assistants to keep abreast with Microsoft’s Cortana.