Microsoft is working on bringing its Cortana personal assistant to Android (and iOS), according to a report from Reuters.
Cortana does a lot of the same things that we’ve come to expect from Siri and Google Now. She’s been well received in the Windows Phone world and is looking to make the move to Windows desktops with Windows 10.
Microsoft will be looking to use research from an artificial intelligence project called ‘Einstein’, a technology that can read and understand email. Microsoft Research’s Eric Horvitz says that it will play “a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame”.
“We’re defining the competitive landscape… of who can provide the most supportive services that make life easier, keep track of things, that complement human memory in a way that helps us get things done”. The key to Cortana’s success, according to Horvitz, is knowing where a user is, what time it is, and what they are trying to do.
The project name bears the name of famous physicist Albert Einstein, and Microsoft likes to play on the link between the man’s work on the relationship between space and time and Cortana’s functions. “Einstein was brilliant about space and time,” says Horvitz. “It’s using brilliance about space and time generally in our agents.”
Microsoft believes its work on speech recognition, search and machine learning will let it transform Cortana into the first intelligent ‘agent’, which will anticipate its users’ needs. We’re not sure if they’ve noticed that Google Now exists, though.