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Cortana Reads Emails to Offer Reminders

Paul Rubens - February 10, 2017 - 10:06 AM
Cortana Reads Emails to Offer Reminders
Microsoft's assistant uses machine learning to understand time commitments made in emails.

(CCM) — Microsoft's Cortana intelligent assistant can now help make users stick to their word, thanks to a new "Suggested Reminders" feature that lets it offer reminders without users having to ask for them. Once the feature is activated, Cortana uses machine learning to analyze a user's email messages and recognize automatically when a commitment has been made to do something like "I will send you the report by 6pm." It will then proactively suggest a reminder to carry out that commitment at a suitable time. But as well as looking for sentences where a particular date or time is specified, Cortana can understand the sorts of phrases that are typically used in time commitment promises such as "end of the day" or abbreviations like "EOW" for "end of the week."

Cortana's "Suggested Reminders" has begun rolling out in the U.S for Windows 10, and will come to iOS and Android in the coming weeks. Since Cortana is a service there is no need for users to update their software to access the new feature. Initially it supports Outlook.com or Office 365 work and school email addresses, but support for other email services will be added in the near future, the company says.

Image: © ymgerman - Shutterstock.com
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