Alexa And Cortana Join Forces Into One Super AI

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Both Amazon and Microsoft are more than capable of expanding the powers of their digital assistants without any help.

This unexpected love story between two rivals seems rather odd, considering that what it basically means is users can instruct the assistant they're now using to open up the other one. Cortana can assist users to book a meeting, access work calendars, and read work emails.

Amazon's Alexa can now beam music to a specific set of smart speakers in the home, opeing up the capability to blast country music upstairs while sparing the rock fan hanging out below.

Why do this? One big clue is this line in Microsoft's blog post: "Cortana users will be able to have Alexa shop on and manage their Amazon orders". Soon you will be able to turn to your Echo device and say, "Alexa, open Cortana", or turn to your Windows 10 device and say, "Cortana, open Alexa", and issue commands to those devices. Users can turn on their Echo device and say "Alexa, open Cortana" or use their Windows 10 device and say "Cortana, open Alexa".

Digital assistants are precursors to true artificial intelligence (AI), or machines that can react like humans through learning, reasoning, and self-correction.

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MobileSyrup has reached out to Microsoft to find out how the partnership will work in Canada given that Alexa isn't available here through an Echo device just yet.

For Echo and Android owners, the cooperation between Alexa and Cortana will not immediately result in a very practical solution. The extent of this integration would be interesting to see, since Harman Kardon is releasing Cortana-powered hardware later this year and Amazon, too, is gearing up for the Echo 2.0. With Alexa compatibility on the way, Cortana could become even more prevalent.

"I want them to have access to as many of those A.I.s as possible." said Jeff Bezos. The world's largest online-only grocery retailer today announces it will be the first supermarket in the United Kingdom to launch an app for the voice-controlled Amazon Alexa.

Amazon is up 0.96% on Wednesday following the news, and Microsoft is trading up 0.53%. Indeed, other rivals in the space include Apple's Siri and Google's Assistant, each of which are now powering their own devices including Apple's HomePod and Google Home.

Microsoft and Amazon said their assistants would be updated "later this year".