They say that two is company. Little did we know that the same applies to personal digital assistants too!
When Microsoft and Amazon declared last year that they would be collaborating to roll out an Alexa and Cortana crossover, it seemed like a goal of the distant future. However, when the Alexa-Cortana partnership went live, it sent the tech world in an excited tizzy.
Now you can interact with Cortana on Echo devices and summon Alexa over Windows 10 devices. Echo users will have to log into their Microsoft accounts to access Cortana. Furthermore, before accessing any controls offered by the other voice assistant, you will have to ask your current assistant to open the other. Once you give the command, irrespective of the device environment, your voice data will be collected by the assistant’s respective cloud.
The mega corporations understand that the two AIs can mutually learn from each other’s strengths. This includes Cortana getting a lesson from Alexa in controlling smart home systems and availability on third-party apps. In contrast, Alexa can get a hold of Cortana’s great reach and access in the world of Microsoft Outlook, calendar information, and emails. This brings together the productivity of Office and its tools with entertainment and smart device control, thereby hitting a perfect balance that would appeal to a larger client base.
The companies are still encountering obstacles in offering an entirely seamless multi-assistant experience. Nevertheless, the duo is available for the public preview. Unfortunately, only US customers can get a taste of the Alexa-Cortana collaboration. Furthermore, since the features are quite limited, one cannot experience the enhanced versions of the other assistant. For example, Cortana will not be able to play music over your Echo device. Similarly, Alexa will not be able to read out an eBook on your Windows system.
In a statement, the companies said that they are still ironing out the details and through this sneak peek, the digital assistants will begin slow integration, using which they can be interfaced more cohesively. The companies hope that their partnership will inspire their rivals – Samsung’s Bixby, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant – to join hands with them and work together to offer a superior customer experience.
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