— Microsoft and Amazon’s integration of their
digital personal assistants is getting closer, the
companies demonstrated at a Microsoft technology
conference Monday, though they still don’t have a date
for public availability.
artificial intelligence assistant Cortana spoke through
the Amazon Echo on stage at Microsoft’s Build
conference Monday, showing the working combination of
the two companies’ technology.
asking Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa to add items to her
shopping list, Megan Saunders, Microsoft’s general
manager of Cortana, shifted into work mode.
open Cortana," Saunders commanded the Echo. Cortana
chimed in, to advise Saunders on her calendar
appointments for the day.
on stage at Microsoft Build on Monday, CEO Satya Nadella
introduced Amazon senior vice president Tom Taylor, who
oversees Alexa. Taylor demonstrated how he could access
both Alexa and Cortana on his PC.
and Amazon announced plans last August to allow their AI
assistants to talk to each other – a move between the
competitors that surprised many. The idea is that Alexa
is mostly used at home, and Cortana is mostly used at
work, so people should be able to use both from the same
device for different tasks.
companies have been quiet on the partnership since its
initial unveiling, and they didn’t debut the
Alexa-Cortana service by the end of last year, as they
originally said they would.
integration is still in private beta, Microsoft said
Monday, and does not have a public launch date. People
can sign up online to get more information about timing
of the launch: aka.ms/cortana — alexa