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Cortana is Microsoft's Siri-style digital assistant

Ben Parfitt
Cortana is Microsoft's Siri-style digital assistant

Yes, the Halo universe’s famed AI star Cortana IS to voice Microsoft’s answer to Siri.

Cortana, as was rumoured last year, will be included in the Windows Phone 8.1 update, offering a host of Bing-powered search and device control features. Jen Taylor will return as her voice.

She will apparently observe and learn from a user’s behaviour based on usage, communications and location. Microsoft describes her as “, but that’s about to change for Windows Phone owners. Cortana, the world’s first truly personal assistant”.

Users can control what data is and isn’t monitored and are free to interact through either text or voice.

“Cortana’s appearance in Windows Phone 8.1 is a result of years of work from researchers, engineers and designers across Microsoft,” Windows Phone group program manager Marcus Ash said.

“She is a combination of advanced technology across areas like search, natural language and machine learning that Microsoft has been able to bring to life, along with a distinct personality that is inspired by one of the biggest franchises in Xbox history.

“She has a personality and a unique sense of humour – someone you are happy to have on hand at all times. You can also chit chat with Cortana – ask her where she comes from or when she was born, ask her to sing a song, or ask her about other assistants, and she’ll have an answer.”

The Cortana 8.1 update will launch in beta form in the US shortly with the UK scheduled to receive it in the second half of the year.

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Tags: Microsoft , windows phone , cortana , windows phone 8.1

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