Friday, 21 September, 2018

Microsoft's Cortana finds answers inside your Skype chats

Sherri Watson | 10 October, 2017, 20:18

Cortana appears within Skype in two ways. (Or, as more cynical types out there might argue, Cortana will be constantly eavesdropping on your conversations and will butt in from time to time to annoy you). It can also set up reminders and schedule events during conversations. Cortana is available in Skype and is created to help you with details to support the conversations you have every day. This is meant to offer "natural conversations" and a friendly chat feel similar to talking to a human.

To be fair, the context-sensitive snippets Cortana will provide in chats sound quite useful in some respects, such as offering suggestions for short smart replies ('yes", "no", "let's go') in order to help you make quick responses in chats. Cortana is an important part of the company's new direction, representing the entrypoint for consumers to interact with its AI. It will be rolled out to more platforms in additional countries across the globe down the road. It's available to iOS and Android users in the United States starting today. This device will see Microsoft enter the increasingly competitive smart home market, an indication of its commitment to Cortana's future. You're covered: as of today, Microsoft is rolling out its Cortana assistant to the Skype apps for Android and iOS. Google's Allo app is aided by Google Assistant, while Facebook Messenger has its own assistant, "M", for example.

In addition, Cortana is being added to your Skype as a contact you can message directly, if you choose. "At Skype, we're committed to making your Skype experience even better", said Microsoft. I'm sure this will once again raise questions about privacy, as Cortana will be scanning every message you send on Skype.

The gradual rollout of Cortana to the Android and iOS Skype apps starts today, though it appears it will be U.S. only for the time being.