There’s a new personal assistant in town by the name of Cortana. This friendly AI bot lives in your Windows Phone and helps manage your everyday life. Some of you may know Cortana from the Halo video game series, but the Cortana on your Windows phone, like the Nokia Lumia 521 or the Nokia Lumia 635, won’t be relaying tactical information to you. Instead, she’ll schedule appointments, set up reminders and even recommend restaurants in your area.
So you’re probably wondering what happened to Siri and who is better? The answer depends on what kind of personal assistant you prefer.
Siri: The First of Her Kind
Apple fans have grown to love Siri. They find her professional tone endearing and her response to life’s toughest questions simple yet brilliant. Furthermore, Siri is different from traditional voice-recognition software because she understands natural speech, according to Apple. The more you use Siri, the better she comprehends your accent and other voice quirks.
Before Cortana it was difficult to compare Siri to other AI programs because she really was the first of her kind. Now that Siri has a rival, it’s easier to see the AI’s shortcomings. Let’s face it, Siri is much better when it comes to career-oriented tasks such as reminding you of an upcoming office meeting or sending an email to a coworker.
To put it simply, Siri thrives on helping you get that next promotion or raise. When asked, “Who are you?” Siri responds with a no-nonsense answer of “I’m Siri. But enough about me . . . how can I help you?” She’s just not interested in having a conversation. If you want a personal assistant that understands punctuation when composing a message by voice or something that can send an email or start a call, then Siri is your best bet.
Cortana: The New Girl on the Block
Cortana, on the other hand, is best for users that want a personal assistant for their everyday lives. A comical Microsoft commercial illustrates what Cortana can do what Siri can’t. For instance, Cortana can remind you to call a friend when you get home or help you recall what you need from the grocery store. In addition, a TechRadar comparison shows how sluggish Siri is compared to Cortana. This AI also is more likely to strike up a conversation, says Engadget, which adds the human quality that Siri lacks.
Unlike Siri, Cortana won’t be part of the operating system. Instead, she will be a downloadable app on the Windows Phone 8.1, says ZDNet. Microsoft has been working on Cortana since 2011 and hopes that she will be the beginning of responsive PCs. Imagine a world where you can prompt your computer via voice command to print a report or fax a document. According to ZDNet, Microsoft is definitely working towards this revolutionary technology.
If you’re still having trouble deciding between Siri and Cortana, consider Gizmodo’s description of the new AI: “Cortana is powered by Bing and is a mix of Google Now’s prediction powers injected with some Siri-like personality, and she has a lovely voice.” If you’re a sucker for soft-spoken female voices and want a witty digital personal assistant that can help you juggle your social life, then Cortana is the AI for you.