Could Cortana 2.0 be a chatbot? Microsoft’s new AI arch hasn’t ruled it out

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Cortana has a new boss, and he has a problem: If Google’s branch a Google Now digital partner into a chatbot, should Microsoft do a same with Cortana?

So far, a answer is a clear maybe.

In 2014, Microsoft initial denounced Cortana, a digital partner within Windows 10. Interacting with Cortana was simple: You asked a question, she responded. In a final few months, however, Google’s Assistant has offering an alternative: a chatbot that interacts with users around an ongoing tide of content and images. 

As of Thursday, Cortana’s destiny lies in a hands of Harry Shum, a executive clamp boss in assign of Microsoft’s new Microsoft AI and Research Group. In an talk with PCWorld, Shum said he hasn’t ruled out adding a Cortana chatbot to a register of digital assistants. Shum conspicuous Microsoft is also perplexing to figure out either to pier a successful Asian chatbot, famous as XiaoIce, to a American market—while avoiding a repeat of a last, catastrophic chatbot initiative, Tay.ai.

Navigating those waters won’t be easy, and Shum played it protected when asked what Microsoft’s skeleton were for chatbots.“I wish to stress a complexity and problem of this form of product,” Shum cautioned. “I consider it’s still early.” 

Mark Hachman

With a Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we can entrance simple Cortana functions on your close screen. But distinct a chatbot, there’s no story of your interactions.

Cortana 2.0: Chatbot or assistant?

According to Shum, Cortana was creatively designed to fast correlate with a user, afterwards get out of a way. “I would contend Cortana is designed to assistance people finish a task, either it be a sign that they should buy something for mom’s birthday or that they should leave for home since a trade is jammed,” Shum said.

Over 133 million people have used Cortana, seeking a sum of one billion questions of a digital assistant. Given Microsoft’s new matter that 400 billion inclination run Windows 10, and by extension, Cortana, that means reduction than half of Windows 10 users have never used her. (Shum conspicuous Microsoft believes that Cortana’s use “compares well” with other assistants on a market.)

In a meantime, Google debuted a Assistant chatbot—currently partial of a Allo app, yet eventually approaching to mangle out and reinstate Google Now within Android. Assistant suggests topics for users to correlate with, such as quizzes and games, and it suggests follow-up topics to continue a conversation. It also keeps a using total of a conversation, permitting a user to corkscrew behind and continue it from an progressing indicate in a conversation. Cortana lacks all of these features.

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