Microsoft to roll out Siri-killer Cortana for Win 10, iOS, Android: report
Redmond’s digi-assistant to get AI overhaul
Microsoft is working on an advanced AI upgrade for its digital assistant Cortana and will roll out the souped-up version as part of Windows 10 and create a standalone app for iOS and Android, Reuters reported, citing insiders familiar with the project.
Next-generation features for Cortana may include semantic understanding of emails. The upgrades will draw upon Microsoft's Einstein project, which involves research into artificial intelligence.
Cortana is not seen by Microsoft as a competitor for Apple's Siri, which uses voice recognition for Web search and function access. Instead, the company believes its digital assistant can become the industry's first to exhibit anticipation of users' needs.
"We're defining the competitive landscape... of who can provide the most supportive services that make life easier, keep track of things, [and] that complement human memory in a way that helps us get things done," said Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research and a part of the Einstein project.
Microsoft's Windows 10, of which Cortana will be a part, is a high-stakes release for the company, which once held Apple's position as the world's most valuable company by market capitalisation, setting a record market cap at just under $619bn in 1999. When Apple first broke the record for largest market cap with $620bn in August 2012, it was Microsoft's record that was broken. Apple has since smashed its own record multiple times, recently soaring above $730bn, while Microsoft, despite being the world's second valuable company, has a market cap of just under $340bn.
CEO Satya Nadella is the first Redmond CEO to make major Microsoft software releases available on other platforms, rolling out Office for iPads within his first few months as chief executive.