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digital assistants News

Microsoft demonstrates Cortana commitment with new integrations

Microsoft has announced several new integrations for its Cortana digital assistant. The expanded line-up of smart home products is intended to help Cortana catch up with rivals including Alexa and Google Assistant, now widely seen to lead the market.

Google Assistant is coming to ChromeOS

Google is preparing to bring Google Assistant to ChromeOS, according to new code found in the platform's source. The company is beginning to significantly expand its aims for ChromeOS, which could present new opportunities for its AI to assist.

Microsoft launches 'Cortana Intelligence Institute' to improve AI

Microsoft has announced the establishment of the "Cortana Intelligence Institute," a body that will develop "next-generation" features for Microsoft's AI. It comes shortly after the company responded to concerns that Cortana's lagging behind its rivals.

Amazon to 'double down' on Alexa 'positive surprise'

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced the company will "double down" on Alexa in 2018 after it exceeded internal expectations last year. The company said Alexa has delivered "positive surprises." It is now committed to extending its market lead.

Amazon invests in startup trying to increase voice AI engagement

Amazon has invested in a startup trying to address the low uptake of voice-controlled apps and digital assistants. Pulse Labs is trying to find ways to convince people they should keep using voice control.

Report: Microsoft rethinking Cortana's role in Windows 10

Microsoft is planning to move Cortana into a redesigned Action Center panel on Windows 10. The digital assistant will be reworked around conversations, similarly to Google Assistant, as Microsoft aims to increase adoption of the feature.

Facebook to shut down its 'M' digital assistant service

Facebook has announced it's shutting down part of its "M" digital assistant. The AI, accessed through Messenger, offered a "virtual concierge" supported by human operators. The human element of the service is now being closed down after over two years.

Amazon Alexa to launch on Windows 10 PCs this year

Amazon's announced that select Windows 10 PCs will come with Alexa built-in this year. The company has partnered with Windows device manufacturers including Acer, ASUS, HP and Lenovo to add Alexa to new laptops. Microsoft doesn't appear to be involved.

Apple's HomePod was meant to be much more competitive

Apple's upcoming HomePod smart speaker has been in development for five years and was once a much more ambitious device, according to a report today. Apple delayed the launch of the HomePod last week but it's far from the first time it has been setback.

Samsung announces plans to 'democratise' the Internet of Things

Samsung launched several new Internet of Things services this week during the company's annual Developer Conference. The company said it wants to enable "connected, seamless experiences" to assist consumers, including voice control and augmented reality.

Samsung unveils Bixby 2.0, aims to connect all your devices

Samsung has announced the second-generation version of Bixby, the company's digital assistant. Coming just six months after Bixby's launch, Samsung's preparing to significantly expand the assistant's applications by bringing it to new kinds of device.

Amazon's Alexa gets smarter with new custom lists

Amazon has announced it's improving one of Alexa's most popular features by adding support for custom lists. Alexa currently helps you manage your to-do list and shopping list. The assistant can now also keep track of other items you need to remember.

Mining 3.5 billion tweets confirms sunny weather makes us happier

The largest study of its kind has demonstrated that good weather makes people feel happier by analysing over three billion Facebook and Twitter posts made over a seven-year period. The volume of data assessed for the study far exceeds previous attempts.

British warships to get 'Siri-style' controls for digital warfare

Britain's new warships will be equipped with a voice-control system akin to Apple's Siri. The Royal Navy is bringing itself up to date with the digital era. IT will be used across its vessels and weapons to create a flexible fleet for "decisive" action.

Simple 'Dolphin' flaw trivialises hacking Siri and Alexa

A simple but serious vulnerability in the design of modern smartphone assistants could allow attackers to pull off silent hacks. Researchers found digital assistants including Siri and Alexa will respond to ultrasound commands inaudible to humans.

Cortana and Alexa make friends in joint collaboration

Microsoft and Amazon have teamed up to combine their digital assistants. Users of Cortana and Alexa will be able to access either one from any device. The two assistants will act as gateways to each other, extending what's possible with voice control.

Walmart buys into voice shopping with new Google partnership

Google has announced a partnership with Walmart that will let you order household items using Google Assistant and your voice. It comes amid a surge in interest in voice shopping and transformative retail experiences. Google also offers free delivery.

Samsung starts rolling out Bixby Voice in the U.S.

Samsung has announced that the rollout of Bixby Voice in the U.S. has now commenced, allowing Galaxy S8 owners to start interacting with the digital assistant using their voice. The feature was delayed from the device's launch due to ongoing issues.

Alexa and Cortana are growing at Siri's expense

A report has found newer digital assistants including Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana are gaining market share at the expense of established services. Despite releasing several new features this year, Apple's Siri is facing declining engagement.

Microsoft launches experimental voice dictation Office add-in

Microsoft has unveiled an experimental extension for its Office apps that lets you dictate text using your voice. The company claims the technology is faster than typing with the keyboard. It supports over 20 languages, including automatic translation.

Apple's take on the Amazon Echo could be unveiled in June

Apple could unveil its own smart speaker built to rival Amazon's Echo and Google's Home as early as this June. The company is reportedly close to finalising the device's design ahead of a public reveal at its WWDC developers event in early summer.

Samsung's Galaxy S8 to launch without Bixby assistant

Samsung has announced it is delaying the launch of Bixby, the company's anticipated rival to Apple's Siri. Bixby was meant to be released alongside Samsung's Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone. It will now be added in a future Android update.

Facebook adds suggestions to its Messenger assistant

Facebook has updated M, the digital assistant inside its Messenger app, with the ability to make suggestions. The company is pitching the feature as a way to sustain conversations by suggesting relevant content that keeps messages flowing.

Apple's Siri could get iMessage integration in iOS 11

Apple could expand Siri with new intelligent features in this year's iOS 11 update, according to a report today. The company is planning to add iMessage integration for the first time, letting Siri help you write texts by offering predictive suggestions.

Samsung introduces Bixby – Built to stop you using touchscreens

Samsung has officially announced its long-rumoured Bixby AI, a new digital assistant that will make its debut on the company's upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. Details are light but Samsung is promising a "deeper experience" than contemporary assistants.

Intel developing 'genderless' AI

Intel is developing a new artificially intelligent assistant that will be genderless, moving the tech industry away from the perceived "feminine" nature of most current AIs. The system will debut on a new smartwatch Intel is building with TAG Heuer.

Huawei to take on Siri with its own digital voice assistant

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei is planning to release a rival to Apple's Siri by launching its own voice assistant. The company has assigned over one hundred engineers to the major development effort, described as "extensive" by insider sources.

Microsoft previews the first Cortana-powered Amazon Echo rival

Microsoft has announced a new Amazon Echo rival based on its Cortana digital assistant. As part of an expansion of Cortana's capabilities, Microsoft has partnered with audio company Harman Kardon to create a smart speaker with the assistant built-in.

Microsoft's Cortana could get chattier and more personal soon

Microsoft's Cortana could become a lot more personal soon. Microsoft recently applied for a patent that describes a "personalized greeting system" capable of emulating human interactions and delivering contextually relevant welcome messages.

Samsung planning April launch of AI-powered Galaxy S8

Samsung is reportedly targeting an April launch for its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. The company is delaying the device to ensure it doesn’t fall victim to the same quality control issues as the recalled Note 7. AI will a big part of the launch.
 

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