Cortana may soon replace instruction manuals

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

The competition between all the virtual assistants on the market is becoming more intense. Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri are all expanding their functionality, and a freshly discovered patent application reveals one in particular for the Halo-inspired virtual assistant.

Microsoft wants Cortana to replace physical instruction manuals

Microsoft plans to bring Cortana into our homes to set calendar appointments and updates. First spotted by MSPU, the company also wants the AI-powered voice-activated assistant to come in handy in more daily situations.

The patent application confirms that Redmond is now turning to Cortana to assist users in the setup process of devices installed around the house. Long story short, Microsoft plans the morphing of physical instruction manuals into an automated setup process powered by AI voice assistants.

This would be a pretty impressive thing to achieve and it would turn out to be extremely useful. This means that Microsoft’s smart AI-assistant may very soon be able to assist you with the setup of a new router, for instance, for which you would normally have to search the web or the physical instruction manual.

Microsoft’s patent writes:

The digital assistance device at least partially automates the setup process that would usually come in a quick start guide. This is made possible by digitalizing the quick start guide so as to be at least partially interpretable by the digital assistance device.

The digital assistance device can thereby determine, for each step, what it can do based on its information and capability, but also how the instructions can be simplified based on what it knows, and for what it cannot do, it passes all or a portion of the quick start guide for that step to the user via an intractable interface, the company’s patent states.

Microsoft wishes to apply the technology to a vast variety of devices including laptop computers, handheld devices, desktop computers, mainframes, distributed computing systems, datacenters, glasses and more. Should be exciting!


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