June 13, 2014
Siri, Apple’s voice assistant for iOS, could soon be getting some competition. Microsoft’s Cortana could be making the jump to the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad, according to MacRumors. Speaking at the SMX Advanced Conference on Thursday, Windows Phone Group Program Manager Marcus Ash said he wants Cortana “to be ‘pervasive’ both geographically and among mobile platforms.” He notes:
We want to scale Cortana internationally and across devices. The Android/iOS question is interesting. We’re asking, would Cortana be as effective if she didn’t have access to the details on your phone? We’re still trying to get Cortana adopted on Windows Phone and figure out what it wants to become there. But we’re actively talking about this.Cortana is a fictional artificially intelligent (AI) character in the Halo video game series. Voiced by Jen Taylor, she appears in Halo: Combat Evolved, and its sequels Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4. Microsoft’s voice assistant for Windows Phone was originally developed under the codename Cortana. “Leaks and a petition cemented the Cortana name” for the final release, according to Polygon. Like the Halo version, Cortana, the voice assistant, is voiced by Taylor. First introduced in March, Cortana is only available with a developer release of Windows Phone 8.1. It’s expected to arrive on the Xbox One and in Windows 8.1 in 2015. The voice assistant is powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Tellme’s natural language processing and speech-recognition technology that Microsoft acquired in 2009. See also: After A Short Delay, Microsoft Launches Skype 5.0 For iPhone, Shazam! Apple's iOS 8 Will Feature Built-In Song Recognition With Help From Siri, and Microsoft Unveils Skype's Upcoming Real-Time Speech Translation Feature.