Microsoft and Amazon are working to ensure that their intelligent assistants can harness each other's abilities.
(CCM) — Amazon and Microsoft are working together to make it possible for Alexa and Cortana — their intelligent assistants — to talk to each other, according to a New York Times report.
The two companies have been working together behind the scenes for the last year, and eventually Cortana users will be able summon Alexa, and vice versa, by saying "Cortana, open Alexa" and "Alexa, open Cortana." This functionality should be available by the end of the year, the paper says.
The thinking behind the move is that, in the future, people will turn to different intelligent assistants for different tasks, in the same way that people might turn to different friends for different types of advice.
An obvious benefit for Alexa users is that Cortana is better integrated with other Microsoft products, such as Outlook, than rival intelligent assistants. When the two assistants can talk to each other, Alexa users will be able to ask Cortana to retrieve information from Outlook than Alexa can't do by itself.
Neither company is currently working with Apple and Google, who offer the Siri and Assistant intelligent assistants respectively, according to the report. It may well be the case that these latter two wish to keep their assistant separate from all the others as a way to protect a selling point of their mobile operating systems, iOS and Android, the New York Times suggests.
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