WEB & TECH / DEC. 24, 2014
version 5, draft 5

Microsoft 10 and Cortana: Bill Gates’ Version of Siri

A “leaked” version of the latest Microsoft 10 has a few features that will get Microsoft fan-boys excited. One is the addition of a Siri like A.I. assistant named Cortana (yes after the character from the Halo game series). There are a few noteworthy features that Cortana has hidden up her sleeve. Read below.

Why you should be excited

Apple has Siri, Google has Google Now (and obviously a Narcissist complex since they use their name EVERYWHERE google glass, google +, google maps... do I need to go on?) and now Windows has Cortana.  The reason these apps are exciting is because they allow for integration across many different devices that run each company’s software. Google Now actually crosses the fiery divide between Android and iOS and can be installed on most iDevices. 

All of these apps implement a sort of A.I. for the purpose of being used as a virtual personal assistant. They allow the user to navigate the device’s environment with verbal commands, set-up appointments, reminders and memos. They assist in navigation and give you recommendations and ratings of establishments at your current location (which, if you travel you know what a lifesaver that can be). Unfortunately, if you find yourself in a drug den in South America sitting across a narco-traffico it will not call the embassy for you. Another great benefit is that your touch-screen will remain completely clean.

The future of using your device

Natural Language User Interface is all the rage now. If you are unaware of this technology it’s as simple as speaking. Remember the 1980s hit series Knight Rider? Do you remember David Hasselhoff’s epic chest hair? Well his chest hair is an example of a natural language user interface. What do you mean it’s not? Oooh! I’ve just been informed that the talking car in the series was actually an example of a NLU interface. Basically you tell the machine/computer/ trans-am what to do verbally. Within reason of course, a computer no matter how persuasive you are will not give you a foot-rub. For that you need another type of unknown to you interface called a girlfriend/boyfriend.

Jumping on the NLU interface bandwagon

Microsoft isn’t the only company to look into integrating their accommodating virtual deus ex machina (that’s translates to ‘god from a machine’ for all the non-latin speakers). Apple has already filed a patent for a version of Siri for OSX (that Apple’s equivalent to Windows on their Mac computers). Sooner or later you will be greeted at the computer store with the synchronized robotic female voice of 50 computers and tablets saying: “HELLO DEREK HOW CAN WE HELP YOU.” If you avoid soiling your pants because of a 2001: Space Odyssey flashback the future will be bright, fantastic and very talkative. If that Space Odyssey reference lost some of you it’s a Stanley Kubrick movie about a rogue A.I. that kills off the crew of a Space Station, see video below for reference.

Do you have Siri on your phone and look forward to having Cortana on your laptop, tablet or desktop? Well let me know in the comment section below. 

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