Cortana, the new heroine with which Microsoft wants to beat Apple and Google

“I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you”. The sweeping declaration of love is Theodore, the protagonist of Her, the famous film in which Joaquin Phoenix falls for his virtual assistant. This blockbuster undoubtedly had a grotesque situation that we found, but with the strange feeling of not be distant from reality in the not too distant future.

Virtual assistants based known as Artificial Intelligence has drawn much attention, mainly in the world of telephony, but never quite jell among users. Steve Wozniak, Apple’s charismatic co-founder was not clear at the time: “the future is the voice”, he said referring to the user interaction with your phone.

One of the workhorses of the manufacturers now face is to simplify the relationship between you and your mobile: the simpler to perform an operation with it, it will bring more out of the terminal and satisfaction user, the great mantra obsessively pursuing the brand will skyrocket. Put another way, if one comes home with the purchase and have one hand free, it will cost much more to unlock the phone, open the application and send a SMS message to say out loud “sends a message to Juan”.

And here are rushing major brands. We knew Google Now and Siri from Apple, but Microsoft has among hobs something more ambitious with Cortana, efficient and attractive virtual assistant that Microsoft submitted if nothing goes wrong at the beginning of next year and promises to change forever the way in which we relate to mobile.

Engadget has visited the young development team ambitious Redmond and have met fascinating details behind this sophisticated product. The truth is that despite being all manufacturers agree to consider the audience as the future voice and a key element in its platforms; nobody has managed to universalize the use of this system in the mobile.

The marks are stored in a safe usage statistics of its systems of artificial intelligence, but it seems that the utilization rate could be much lower than we thought. A disturbing survey conducted last year among 2,000 users of the Americans Siri, revealed that 84% of them had never used the system and those who did, nearly half stated disappointed by its vagueness and frustration with. One attempt to create an appointment for the next day and the wizard does not include starting an internet search on a word that I understood… In the end, if between failures and successes make it faster on-screen action to venture into the lottery assistant understands them, one stops using similar except Siris and know what the weather will do tomorrow or basic commands.


In this sense, many compare the network between Google Now and the Apple product, but the truth is that the anticipated low rate of use of these systems suggests that both giants ahead coming to market with products that are not yet refined enough to cause a change in habits. The revolution’s voice has been too soon and too transgressive, for the moment, in dry dock, and if you’re wondering what is more efficient of the two, PCMag signed tables in a detailed analysis that took place last year.

Revenge is a dish best served cold

The bad thing is that one late the impact of being the first is lost, but the main advantage is that you learn from others’ mistakes and has a golden opportunity to make a better product. From this fact Microsoft took note that calmly observed the mistakes of its predecessors and immediately got to work on the development of Cortana, an ambitious project that aims to go beyond the confines visited by Apple and Google.

Having more time and closely monitored the obstacles faced rivals in permanent beta service, the young team had two years to analyze, plan and create a wizard based on artificial intelligence. But far from being tempted to copy its competitors, Microsoft Research decided to study what a user seeks an assistant and for this, interviewed dozens of other attendees-these, of flesh and blood to analyze the demands of its bosses.

Before long, and placed the bulk of user requests, and now they had to shape it. The approach proposed by the Microsoft team was far beyond what was initially raised by her rivals and Siri and Google Now use the information in a structure (the notes to notes, appointments to Calendar, etc..), Cortana should resemble the human brain. Thus, the system stores all user information in your notebook and thereafter extracting the will depending on the applications, and most importantly, the owner of the mobile habits.

Put another way, every user has his own Cortana, who knows, given certain circumstances, which will make your head at that moment with a margin of error. Possibly it is closest to the system that starred Her we have seen to date, still missing months for official release.

Redmond’s team also found that one of the major obstacles encountered by users when using wizards was the feeling of talking to a machine. In this sense, they set humanize Cortana and provide it with a personality that closer interaction as possible to human parameters. Of the three in the market, the Microsoft system is the only one face, and that Cortana gets paid for the hit house games Halo, and in this case it is a hologram of a young athletic appearing naked with a very distinctive voice starring actress Jen Taylor.

The idea was to make the team her assistant was not a metallic voice without hovering over each time our request on the phone, but a person who could remember user friendly and full of sense of humor voice. In this sense, one of the objectives was to provide Cortana Microsoft’s ability to maintain an informal conversation prior to the first previous instructions, and found that almost half of respondents have an assistant, first held a question- complimentary. Well, this is also possible with Cortana, who also played with the advantage of remembering everything that happened in the life of her boss with pinpoint accuracy, and thus not surprise us if the good morning after rigor we question birthday party we enjoyed yesterday.


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