Cortana helps Kenyans locate clean drinking water

By: Vamien McKalin
2 minute read

Cortana is pretty smart, but how smart is the Microsoft assistant exactly? We can’t say for sure, but we do know it is smart enough to help secure safe water in Kenya.

As Cortana is an intelligent AI, it’s capable of many things. Microsoft talked about this back at Build 2016 during one of the keynotes, with the company having pitched a world of connected devices reliant on sensors speaking to each other over the cloud. These sensors are linked to an enormous pool of data, the same data Cortana is able to take advantage of to help the people of Kenya gain clean drinking water.

Microsoft’s Solution Architect and Technical Manager of Microsoft Research, Kenji Takeda, talked about the Cortana Intelligent Suite and how it is being used to bring safe drinking water to thousands of villages in the rural parts of Africa.

The team consists of Dr. Robert Hope of the REACH Initiative and top machine learning experts such as David Clifton and Farah Colchester. As for the sensors, they are connected to the cloud and to water wells to help secure safe water deployment.

What exactly is the Cortana Intelligent Suite? It is a platform all about being able to predict things built on a foundation of machine learning and the ability to gather data from the cloud.

“Microsoft is bringing together a comprehensive set of cloud services including Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Power BI and more to provide perceptual intelligence capabilities to enterprise customers through the Cortana Intelligence Suite,” according to the software giant.

The Cortana Intelligent Suite and Azure’s Machine Learning capabilities combined are doing more than just helping developers gather and churn out more data, and that’s surely a great thing.

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