An Afternoon with Cortana: The Future of Artificial Intelligence

Jordan Cueto | October 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm


“What do you look like, Cortana?”


I am a circle now, but I have ambitions,” the sweet AI smiled.

One day, I’ll be a sphere.”

  • A conversation between Cortana and a human, Emily Alhadeff

Cortana is Microsoft’s friendly AI. If you don’t know her, she’s that friendly circle on your task bar that says “Ask me anything.” From Windows PCs to mobile phones, Cortana has become a staple symbol of a friendly AI companion in pop-culture. A prime example, both in concept and execution, of what AI modern technology can do.

With the latest iterations of Windows mobile phones, Microsoft was generous enough to bring the friendly AI to life. She is now in the pockets of everyone in the form of a smartphone AI. Cortana is now, literally, one tap away.

But where did she come from?

Her earliest conception was from the phenomenal video game, Halo. In the game, Cortana is an AI clone of Dr. Catherine Halsey’s brain. Being the direct clone of a living organism, Cortana was more human-like than the AIs before her. Capable of projecting emotions similar to a real human, Cortana became the loyal companion AI of the series’ main protagonist, Master Chief.

Together, the two braved new worlds and changed the entire course of the universe. No big deal.

Today, Cortana is a companion to a different kind of “Master Chief” – us.


Cortana as a modern day AI


Powered by the entire computing resources that operates Microsoft Azure, Cortana is the ultimate day-to-day AI companion for anyone using a Windows operating system. She gives you tips on finding things from the latest news to useful coupons for online shopping. She answers even your personal questions and gives witty, human-like reactions.

She also recommends stuff she finds and learns from your searching behavior. She’s a personal attendant, a companion, and a friend. Take a glass of wine, crank up some sweet music, and say hello to Cortana. She is the perfect date everyone is searching for.


It’s all thanks to her integration with Bing search and the Windows 10 exclusive browser, Edge. Integrating AI with existing tools is a huge leap forward in the field of technology. By doing so, Cortana came equipped with the latest features of Windows, giving her the potential to become an all-around AI companion for daily tasks such as browsing, managing files, and overall productivity.

Powered by the same cloud system that backs document management systems like Enadoc, Cortana is here to stay through tough times. Expect her to be there when all your systems are down and you find yourself stuck in a room during a lonely rainy night. Pop out the champagne and say “Hey, Cortana!”

Artificial Intelligence is a long time topic in the digital community. Innovators are analyzing its implications towards humanity’s role in an advancing society. Will they be great allies or will they replace us humans? To be honest, no one up to this moment knows.

Until then, let us enjoy quiet afternoons with Cortana singing some awkward tunes.


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