Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Microsoft Brings Cortana To Skype

Microsoft Brings Cortana To Skype

Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana has finally arrived in Skype.

Cortana will work just as well in a one-on-one chat as it will in threads with large groups of friends, and if you'd just like to chat to Cortana directly, it will also have its own contact in Skype.

Cortana appears within Skype in two ways. Now, the feature is live, offering users in-context assistance during their chats, as well as the option to message Cortana directly to ask questions or get help with a number of other tasks.

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This Cortana integration was announced more than a year and a half ago, and it's not totally clear what accounts for the long delay. If you've ever used Google's Allo app, you'll know what it's all about. Cortana can also suggest smart replies so you can respond to messages faster and more easily, without having to type.

Cortana will also detect when someone is talking about scheduling events or things to do and will recommend setting up a reminder, which a user will receive on all their devices that have enabled Cortana. Microsoft's not doing anything innovative by adding Cortana to Skype, instead merely consolidating its position as a participant in consumer AI. For example, if your Skype friend asks if you are going to the movies tomorrow, Cortana will pop up some suggested answers to that question, such as "Yes", "No" or something else.

Smart replies on their own are a useful enough feature, as they feel more like an upgraded version of a keyboard app's phrase suggestion, but numerous other A.I. -powered inputs are less than welcome. You can talk directly to Cortana if you want to ask about directions, flights or the weather, but it promises to be the biggest help inside your normal conversations. The artificial intelligence assistant has been added to Android and iOS devices.

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