Patent Filing Shed Light on Microsoft Cortana’s Future

Microsoft has been making big changes with Cortona, including the impending shutdown of the iOS and Android apps. A new patent filing, however, gives some insight into Microsoft’s plans for the AI assistant.

First reported on by WindowsUnited (German text), Microsoft has filed a patent showing a person jogging while Cortana summarizes their email and text messages. The person then asks for clarifying information about one of the emails.

The patent is designed to address the dangers of trying to read emails and messages while engaged in other activities, as well as the difficulty people experience concentrating and processing a long message when it is read to them in its entirety.

“It is much harder to process messages ‘read’ to someone than simply reading the messages, because it takes the brain much more focus to listen to messages than to read them,” the filing says.

“For example, if a user is jogging, it is not easy to read a display, however the user is able to listen for messages. Unfortunately, some messages (e.g., email messages) may be long and simply having an electronic device read these long messages may take a long time and a large amount of concentration. Further, trying to read a display while jogging may have disastrous consequences, such as having an accident or dropping and damaging the phone.”

Microsoft’s patent application looks like a practical use for AI, especially if Cortana can deliver succinct, relevant and informative summaries. This should be a welcome feature once Microsoft implements it.

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