Meet Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri.
Although previously rumored, Microsoft has now officially revealed new details featuring the AI companion from the Halo franchise. Though Cortana will first launch as a beta in an upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, she’ll be integrated with many Microsoft apps, including Skype, and will replace the current Bing search.
She’s more than just a personal assistant, however, and shouldn’t be confused with your typical run-of-the-mill AI female voice. Taking a cue from the voice of Her’s Scarlett Johansson, Cortana will not only organize your life, but will begin to learn about you from the moment you two speak and will continue to improve through each interaction. Furthermore, according to Windows Phone Group Program Manager Marcus Ash, “She has a personality and a unique sense of humor. You can also chit chat with Cortana – ask her where she comes from or when she was born, ask her to sing a song, or ask her about other assistants, and she’ll have an answer.”
Personally speaking, I’m thrilled that not only will she be voiced by the woman who played her in Halo 4, Jen Taylor, but that the AI is expected to adapt to my needs. Well, smart phone needs, at least.
Microsoft plans to make Windows Phone 8.1 available to its developer community later this month with the new OS rolling out to existing Windows Phone users starting this summer (May/June). And while seven years is the life span of Halo‘s smart AIs before they reach a state called rampancy, here’s to hoping Cortana sticks with us for many years to come.
HT: Xbox Wire