Microsoft introduces Cortana to Skype for ‘smart conversations’
CORTANA – Microsoft’s artificial intelligence-powered smart assistant – can now be enabled in Skype messenger on Android and iOS devices.
The rollout means Skype will have access to every conversation you have in the communication app. This allows Cortana to detect when you are speaking about scheduling plans or looking for information – enabling smart conversations between participants and Cortana.
With this information, Cortana will offer to automatically schedule the event you are discussing, or provide you with information without having to leave the conversation or swap apps.
Competing with Facebook Messenger’s ‘M’ assistant and Allo with Google Assistant, Skype’s Cortana can suggest information based on the user’s chats with contacts.
Information such as movie reviews and restaurant recommendations will appear as suggested pages you can view immediately or send to the other participants in the chat.
In addition to Cortana acting as your personal assistant, the AI system will also be stored as a permanent contact. This enables you to have conversations with Cortana and get quick answers to queries such as: “How fast is artificial intelligence predicted to advance in the future?”
This feature is only available in the United States for now and is not yet enabled on voice or video conversations.
— Skype (@Skype) October 9, 2017
Lack of privacy
The lack of privacy in Skype’s new Cortana feature is worrying for some users.
But one thing to remember is that Skype conversations are not end-to-to encrypted, meaning Microsoft already has access to all your Skype conversations in plain text.
The new feature is designed to assist you and take the difficulty out of organising events.
“We’re committed to making your Skype experience even better. With Cortana, we’ve added a powerful, intelligent assistant to help you with your everyday tasks right where you are and save you time,” Microsoft said in this post.
In future, Microsoft envisages Cortana being everywhere: the walls, floors, speakers, across the globe and in all android and iOS devices, operating like an AI fairy Godmother to answer all your information-related enquiries.
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