Amazon and Microsoft have agreed to better integrate their digital assistants Alexa and Cortana. Alexa users will have access to Cortana and vice versa, and this applies to a variety of devices.

Yes, the idea is practically as crazy as it is in theory. To run Cortana on a Alexa device, you will have to say “Alexa, open Cortana”, and to summon Cortana, you have to say “Cortana, open Alexa”. In fact, both companies have linked the two platforms to each other.

Cross-platform integration allows Alexa users to access some more specific Cortana features such as managing Office products. In turn, Cortana users will benefit from Alexa’s features, which their own digital assistant does not have.

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The news is surprising as Microsoft is currently preparing its first smart speaker with Cortana developed together with Harman Kardon as well as a thermostat. The partnership is the first of its kind since Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and Google have so far not collaborated on this line.

Mr. Bezos said he had not reached out to Apple or Google to invite them to join in the effort and does not know if they would want to.

“I’d welcome it,” he said.

“Hopefully, they’ll be inspired by it,” Mr. Nadella said. “At least that would be my hope.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, while a Google spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

Apple and Google may see competitive advantages in keeping their A.I.s separate from rival assistants, partly as a way to protect a selling point of their mobile software, iOS and Android. Apple is especially finnicky about wanting to control as much as it can of people’s experiences with its iPhones and iPads.

“There’s no reason Google or Apple would offer it because they’re trying to drive their own ecosystems,” said Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research, a technology research firm.

Eventually, Mr. Bezos predicted, the primary assistant on a device will be smart enough to automatically route a person’s request to whichever assistant is best equipped to answer, without needing a verbal introduction between the two.

“In my view of the world, because that would be best for the customer, that’s probably what eventually happens,” he said. Source: The New York Times

https://i0.wp.com/gizbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/amazon-echo.jpg?fit=1024%2C503https://i0.wp.com/gizbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/amazon-echo.jpg?fit=210%2C103John GreenAMAZONMICROSOFTTECH NEWSAI,Alexa,Amazon,Amazon Echo,Artificial Intelligence,Cortana,Google,Microsoft,Smart Speaker,voice assistantAmazon and Microsoft have agreed to better integrate their digital assistants Alexa and Cortana. Alexa users will have access to Cortana and vice versa, and this applies to a variety of devices. Yes, the idea is practically as crazy as it is in theory. To run Cortana on a Alexa...