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Amazon, Microsoft partner to enable AI assistants chat with each other

31 August 2017, 01:50 | Melanie Burgess

Expires Aug. 28th 2017

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Today the company confirmed that it has entered into a partnership with Microsoft to bring the Cortana Skill to Amazon's Alexa and Vice Versa.

Much like any of the other really cool features you can do with Echo devices powered by Alexa, the multi-room music syncing allows for voice-activated music playback once users have created a group. However, Amazon and Microsoft are both open to it. Cortana, of course, is Microsoft's own AI assistant, and even though she may have lost a platform with the decline of Windows Phone, there's still a major push underway to make her an integral part of Windows 10 devices.

According to the publication, the integration is coming about because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos realized that Cortana offered unique features related to Microsoft Outlook and Office that Amazon's Alexa asked.

"The world is big and so multifaceted", said Bezos.

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The news arrived in the form of a joint announcement from both companies, and the New York Times is reporting that Amazon and Microsoft have spent the past year integrating Cortana into the Alexa ecosystem and vice versa.

Bezos said he hasn't approached Apple or Google to ask if they want to integrate, but he'd welcome such interoperability. When this all gets implemented, Echo device owners will be able to access Cortana's features, such as booking a meeting or accessing work calendars. You'll need to specifically summon the assist, however, by saying "Cortana, open Alexa" or "Alexa, open Cortana".

"Alexa will be able to talk to Cortana, and Cortana will be able to talk to Alexa".

Users will be able to say "Alexa, Open Cortana" followed by their command such as "When is the next budget review" which is only available to Microsoft's AI. Amazon's push into hardware has always been about providing a way for people to shop; buy ebooks on a Kindle, movies on a Fire tablet, toilet paper with a Dash Button, and whatever your heart desires on an Echo.and soon, Cortana. Meanwhile, Google's Assistant is now in smartphones and in its Home smart speaker. That is highly unlikely at this point since Apple's Siri and Google Assistant are deeply rooted in their respective proprietary mobile operating systems, iOS and Android.



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