Comedian sent to the web by Cortana, invokes Satan in response

Vu Anh Nguyen

Not just any comedian, it’s Steve Martin. The famous multi-talented actor-slash-entertainer is apparently so troubled by a recent attempt at using Cortana, he assumes it’s the work of the devil himself, reports Geekwire.

Specifically, Martin was trying to use Cortana’s voice recognition capability to open the “Devices and Printers” category in Control Panel. What Cortana did instead was going to the browser to do a web search for devices and printers, which has impelled the comedian to invoke the Anti-Christ in a following Twitter rant.

Interestingly, as Geekwire discovered (and we have subsequently tested), Cortana works just fine if just the command “Open Devices” is issued: the voice assistant will open the right tab in the Settings app. You will, however, have less luck with “Open Printers”, or with Martin’s with “Open Devices and Printers”.

The attention Martin is getting for his post – now at 718 shares and 3172 likes – have prompted Microsoft’s new Windows Insider head, Dona Sarkar, to respond with an invitation for the prolific actor to join the Insider program, with the promise that she’d “show him around the setup” herself. Given that Martin has been supporting Windows 10 by upgrading since last summer, right when it was released, he might have been one step ahead of Sarkar in that regard. A nice gesture nonetheless.

As Steve Martin’s test with Cortana have demonstrated, voice commands, and natural language interpretation by extension, is still very much an area where Microsoft, and other companies with virtual assistant products, need to improve upon for them to be widely adopted. At the speed Microsoft is updating Windows, however, we may see improvements very soon in the future.