Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
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Microsoft shows off Cortana and Amazon Alexa integration at Build 2018

Microsoft shows off Cortana and Amazon Alexa integration at Build 2018

After asking Amazon's AI assistant Alexa to add items to her shopping list, Megan Saunders, Microsoft's general manager of Cortana, shifted into work mode.

In August 2017 Microsoft and Amazon announced that the Amazon Alexa voice assistant will soon offer a Cortana skill, allowing Echo owners to access information which is only available via Microsoft's own voice assistant service. That's a small price to pay for the integration of both digital assistants you work and play with almost every day, right?

In its Build "future of modern meetings" demonstration, officials showed a prototype of a conferencing device on a desk that would pick up audio and video and pair it with Microsoft 365 and the Microsoft Graph to provide automatic identification of meeting participants, real-time transcription and real-time translation.

The partnership will make the assistants available on each other's devices.

Top technology companies see voice-activated digital assistants as a way to extend their reach, and their products, into consumers' lives whether at home, work or in their cars. Both Cortana and Alexa will only show up if you have those two apps installed, naturally.

When Alexa was asked "What do you think of Cortana?" on a Windows 10 PC, the AI assistant responded "I like Cortana".

According to a Reddit thread, one user found they were able to configure Alexa as their default assistant on their Google Pixel 2. The voice changed to Alexa and Taylor ordered an Uber to get to the restaurant. "We both have experience with light rings, although hers is more of a halo". Users can also use Alexa within Cortana on Windows 10 devices.

"Although both firms are in the early phase of this partnership, the move is a necessary one as the number of digital assistants explodes over the next few years", said Nicholas McQuire, VP of enterprise research at CCS Insight. This announcement, like the others, was made during Microsoft Build on the 7th of May, 2018.

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