A quick trip over Lake Washington, and Amazon and Microsoft are only a 20 minute drive from each other, in good traffic (never). So a weird announcement about Alexa and Cortana having an understanding. What could be the potential benefits of them working together?
First, the colors and icons for Cortana and Alexa were similar, so merging should be easy,
Microsoft had announced recently a WER record that was on par with human capabilities. There was also talk of a Harman Cortona speaker. Microsoft also has lots of office application experience and great new hardware.
Amazon brings much more experience now with voice hardware and an infrastructure to provide commerce.
Together, some potential benefits/outcomes:
- Much better accuracy of STT and NLU
- More access to applications — maybe better dictation?
- Skype calling
- Voice interactive games for XBox through Alexa
- Alexa on Windows devices
Microsoft also swallowed up Maluuba this year ago and that could bring some interesting additions to Lex, if this partnership also applies there.