Hard on the heels of leaked screenshots of Microsoft's new smartphone assistant, video of Cortana in action is now making the rounds.
UnleashThePhones has a quick demo of Cortana's setup process — which requires a Microsoft account — and includes options like quiet hours, which lets the user pick and choose which alerts and contacts get through and when. (Via YouTube / Yash Maheshwari)
Most interesting, says The Next Web, "is probably the fact Microsoft has decided it is best to ask the user a set of questions before Cortana can be useful, unlike Apple's Siri or even Google Now which asks questions after the fact."
Yes, like any good AI assistant, it appears Cortana wants to get inside your head.
"Hmm… your architecture isn’t much different from the Autumn’s.
Don’t get any funny ideas." (Via Microsoft)
Cortana will ask questions like "What are a couple of the most enjoyable parts of your everyday evenings?" and "When you think about food, what’s most important to you these days?" (Via UnleashThePhones)
TechCrunch points out answering Cortana's questions before you can start asking your own could be a bit flow-breaking, but it should help customize her responses and make answers more relevant and useful in the long run.
With the user's permission, Cortana will pull data from a range of sources: voice input, obviously, but also browser and search histories, locations, contacts, emails, texts and calendar entries. (Via The Verge)
Her software is still a work in progress pending the release of WP 8.1, but it appears for the moment Microsoft is sticking with the Cortana moniker. More details are expected at Microsoft's BUILD conference in April.