On Monday, Microsoft's virtual personal assistant Cortana got some new skills, courtesy of Microsoft Research.
"People often make promises to do things in email but may forget about them as the days go by and emails pile up. Microsoft Research (MSR) was pursuing an intriguing and powerful idea to get around this challenge — automatically recognizing when people make commitments to one another in email messages and providing reminders," explained Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana, in a blog post. "We collaborated very closely with MSR to bring this new ability to Cortana to help people better keep track of their commitments." With this new ability, which Microsoft is calling "Commitments," Cortana will scan your emails for key phrases and offer to create reminders for your promises. This feature can be turned off via Cortana's settings.
In addition to the new "Commitments" feature, Cortana can help you manage your calendar. "Cortana, like a true personal assistant, is intelligent enough to understand how you may uniquely like to work – including the hours you like to set meetings and those in which you are most productive," explained Ash. Cortana will alert you if you get a meeting request outside of your regular times so you can try to reschedule it or plan accordingly. "This is just the start of Cortana’s calendar management capabilities as we continue to refine Cortana’s intelligence and add new capabilities," added Ash. These new features will first roll out to Windows Insiders and some features are limited to the US. Microsoft did not reveal when these features will roll out to all Windows 10 users.
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