At this year’s Build Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft is showing off a Windows that is bigger and better than any before, and one program that stole the show Wednesday morning is Cortana, the digital assistant integrated into Windows.
If there was a theme of the opening morning of the conference, it was artificial intelligence. As experienced last week, AI can be good and bad. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella acknowledged the learned racist tirade of failed AI experiment, Tay, which was taken offline after only only 24 hours.
Nadella said all technology Microsoft builds needs to “be more inclusive and respectful,” so when users interact with it, they get “the best of humanity, not the worst.” Which is exactly what users experienced with Tay.
But he said Microsoft is headed to a “new frontier,” one where AI isn’t disconnected from the social world, but is integrated into the social world. Machines that know its user, and can tailor needs to them.
“It’s not going to be about man vs. machine,” Nadella said. “It’s going to be about man with machines.”
Among things launched at the annual conference, Nadella segued into a look at the new, improved Cortana Intelligence Suite. Marcus Ash, from the Cortana team, presented the digital service.
Ash said Cortana fields more than 1 million questions per day, and now it will field questions from more devices – Cortana is coming to iOS and Android. The smart assistant also will be available in the lock screen.
Improvements to Cortana will grow the technology from more than just a voice-activation software. The software is built to learn and know its user, making no two Cortanas the same.
As Nadella said, “As an industry, we are on the cusp of a new frontier that pairs the power of natural human language with advanced machine intelligence.”
The Build conference continues through April 1.