An intelligent personal assistant is a software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual. These tasks or services are based on user input, location awareness, and the ability to access information from a variety of online sources (such as weather or traffic conditions, news, stock prices, user schedules, retail prices, etc.). Examples of such an agent are Apple's Siri, Braina, Google's Google Now, Amazon Echo, Microsoft's Cortana, Samsung's S Voice, LG's Voice Mate, BlackBerry's Assistant, SILVIA, and HTC's Hidi.
Microsoft Cortana is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Microsoft for Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft Band, and Windows 10. It is named after Cortana, an artificial intelligence character in Microsoft's Halo video game series, with Jen Taylor, the character's voice actress, returning to voice the personal assistant's US-specific version.Cortana was demonstrated for the first time at the Microsoft BUILD Developer Conference (April 2–4, 2014) in San Francisco. It has been launched as a key ingredient of Microsoft's planned "makeover" of the future operating systems for Windows Phone and Windows. As of 2015, Cortana is available as a beta to all users of Windows Phone 8.1 in the United States (US English), China (Mandarin Chinese), and the United Kingdom (UK English). Users in certain countries can also choose to opt-in to the alpha for the English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish versions of Cortana as of August 2014.
Cortana's features include being able to set reminders, recognize natural voice without the user having to input a predefined series of commands, and answer questions using information from Bing (like current weather and traffic conditions, sports scores, and biographies). Windows 8.1's universal Bing Smart Search features are incorporated into Cortana, which replaces the previous Bing Search app which is activated when a user presses the "Search" button on their device. Cortana also includes a music recognition service. Cortana can also roll dice and flip a coin by asking the commands "roll a dice" (one die), "roll the dice" (two dice), and "flip a coin", Concert Watch is a feature that helps Cortana determine which bands or musicians you are interested in by monitoring your Bing searches. Cortana also integrates with the Microsoft Band for Windows Phone devices if connected via Bluetooth. On the Microsoft Band Cortana can make reminders and bring phone notifications.
Since the Lumia Denim series, launched in October 2014, active listening was added to Cortana, enabling it to be triggered with the phrase: “Hey Cortana,” even across the room and without the need to touch the phone. After the trigger phrase is spoken, Cortana can be controlled normally for tasks like setting a reminder, asking a question, or launching an app. Some devices from the United Kingdom by O2 have received the Lumia Denim update without the feature but this was later clarified as a bug and Microsoft had since fixed it. Cortana also integrates with services like Foursquare to provide restaurant and local attraction recommendations. It offers several functionalities like:
The "Notebook" is where personal information such as interests, location data, reminders, and contacts will be stored for access by Cortana.
Most versions of Cortana take the form of two nested, animated circles. The circles are animated to indicate certain activities such as searching or talking.
Cortana features a "do-not-disturb" mode in which users can specify "quiet hours", something that is already available for Windows Phone 8.1 users. Users can change the settings so that Cortana calls users by their names (or nicknames).
Cortana is region-specific, and adapts its voice to match the everyday language, culture and speech patterns of the country its user lives in.
Cortana, Microsoft’s assistant is based off of the character of the same name from Microsoft’s Halo video game franchise. Featuring voice actress Jen Taylor, Cortana is available to anyone using Windows Phone 8.1.
There are many factors that go into choosing a personal digital assistant, but the voice of the assistant is a big draw. We have a recognizable voice actress handling Microsoft’s Cortana. Cortana is locked to implement Jen Taylor’s dulcet tones.
P.SAI SREE PALLAVI,
SPHOORTHY ENGINEERING COLLEGE
|Sphoorthy Engineering College|