Cortana, Meet Alexa: Digital Assistants Will Talk to Each Other

Cortana, Meet Alexa: Digital Assistants Will Talk to Each Other

Lindsey Duncan
August 31, 2017

Amazon and Microsoft have announced they will collaborate with each other to make their respective digital assistants talk to each other.

Amazon revealed on Wednesday a new partnership that will link the Alexa voice assistant to Microsoft's Cortana counterpart. "They will also get access to 'Cortana's world knowledge and helpful productivity features such as calendar management, day at a glance and location-based reminders simply by asking Alexa to open Cortana'". Jeff Bezos stated there were going to be a number of successful intelligence agents with access to a number of data sets that have different specialized skill regions.

That's probably not the most seamless method Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella's tech giants could have come up with to pair their so far rival services, but it may only be the beginning of a handsome (and unexpected) friendship. As it pertains to the AI voice arena, Microsoft deserves kudos for forging an alliance with Amazon, and likewise credit goes to Amazon for being accepting of the proposition. You'll need to specifically summon the assist, however, by saying "Cortana, open Alexa" or "Alexa, open Cortana".

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) created Cortana back in 2014 to be its in-house voice assistant, offering users the ability to issue voice commands in order to perform specific Windows tasks, search for answers to questions, and much more. With full access to Cortana's capabilities, one might as well just buy an Echo.

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With this partnership users will be able to Invoke Alexa using Cortana and also use Cortana Skills with Alexa. It seems as though the two are doing this to bring in more features to their users.

The AI race is now becoming more competitive with Apple already expected to release its own Siri-powered speaker, the HomePod, later this December. Now if only they could get a digital assistant that works great on the phone to work with their computer and smart speaker AIs.

As the artificial intelligence war heats up, Amazon and Microsoft have made a decision to join forces in hopes of getting the edge over competition from Apple and Google. Support for Spotify and SiriusXM is "coming soon", Amazon says.