Cortana and Alexa, Sitting in a Tree

Nick Wingfield, reporting for The New York Times:

For the past year, the two companies have been coordinating behind the scenes to make Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other. The partnership, which the companies plan to announce early Wednesday, will allow people to summon Cortana using Alexa, and vice versa, by the end of the year. […]

Initially, getting the two systems to work together is going to be a little awkward. Someone working with an Alexa device will have to say “Alexa, Open Cortana” followed by their command, while someone starting with a Cortana machine will have to say “Cortana, Open Alexa.”

It’s certainly interesting that Microsoft and Amazon are collaborating on this, but telling one of them to “open” the other is really awkward. You, the user, shouldn’t have to memorize which tasks go with which assistant.

A.I. assistants remain in their infancy. This feels like getting two babies to talk to each other, when what we really need is to nurture them so that they can mature as fast as possible.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017