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Cortana Theory

The effect of ‘Digital Assistants’ on UX and UI

These past weeks have seen the Beta release of Cortana. The sidekick heroine of the Halo series represents Microsoft’s foray into the ever more sophisticated digital assistant field. Cortana, like Apple’s Siri, is intended to support Windows users through a complex mix of AI and audio recognition software.

Virtual sidekicks were long confined to the realms of science fiction. Complex digital (personal) assistants such as Halo’s Master Chief’s Cortana, and Samantha in the recent film “Her” have always seemed much too complex to bring to reality. However, with each passing year and iteration we take one step closer to making that fiction a reality.

What implications does this voice-activated future have on the field of UX – and more specifically it’s counterpart, User Interface (UI)?
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