Microsoft Cortana receives conversational AI, will sound more like a real assistant

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Saurabh Joshi
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Microsoft Over at Build Developer Conference 2019 in Seattle, Washington has revealed its plans to push forward with making Cortana a more smarter digital assistant which will be offering more natural and conversational interactions. The company showed examples of how Cortana will be able to respond to conversations and organize meetings and reminders proactively.

With the help of newly-acquired Semantic Machines, and in combination with Microsoft researchers, it is building conversational AI that will combine skills and context to let digital assistants like Cortana actually do the things you ask them to do. Microsoft seems to have created a new conversational engine that will be transforming Cortana from a voice assistant that answers commands to one capable of holding conversations.

The video Microsoft showed off, in advance of its Microsoft Build developer conference, shows a responsive Cortana responding to an executive, answering questions, rearranging her schedule, booking conference rooms, and checking on the weather. The assistant clearly understands the context of various questions and can integrate various data source.

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, “Cortana’s smarter conversations are a way to move beyond the brittle, command-based interactions we have with voice assistants today. He likens it to the open web, where every browser can view most experiences.”

The whole demo interaction sounded basically like a phone conversation between two people.  But it remains to be seen if Microsoft can actually deliver on the potential of this demo.

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