New patent reveals Microsoft’s Cortana could become a lot more human

Kit McDonald

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Microsoft created the digital assistant Cortana to keep your calendars, notify you of texts and emails, and launch your applications through voice activation. But a new patent discovered by Network World reveals that her artificial intelligence might be getting improved in the future.

The patent published on November 3, 2016, is titled Providing Personalized Greetings on a Digital Assistant. Microsoft Technology then shares that the premise is to build greetings that draw from user-specific and contextual information. This means that Cortana would know the account’s name, birthday, work, weather, hobbies and more to say ‘Hello’ in different ways.

 “A goal of the personalized greeting system described herein is to mimic a human experience with the user. Providing the same greeting to the user twice in one day is not typical of how the user would be greeted by a human. As such, embodiments provide for mechanisms to alternate or rotate through a list of personalized greetings so that the experience is heightened for the user.”

One example is to say Happy Birthday to the user when they first check their email for the day, but then to wish them a wonderful day the second time they interact with Cortana.

Another example shows that the personalized greetings aren’t exclusive. Some could be combined such as “Welcome Home! The temperature is expected to be above 85 today!” loading location values and weather. Interests, hobbies, and even how busy you are on your calendar will all play a part in the selection of greetings thanks to a ranking system.

It looks like Cortana’s personalized greetings would be available across all devices and includes audio, text, voice, images, etc. This very well could be the next step for Cortana but as it is still a patent, we might not see it too soon.