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New Microsoft ad touts Cortana, slams Apple’s Siri

Siri vs. Cortana might just be an updated version of the PC vs. Mac showdown. Microsoft just debuted a new video ad touting Cortana, its virtual assistant found on Windows Phone. The 30-second spot features Cortana accomplishing tasks like scheduling reminders and providing traffic alerts. Meanwhile, Apple’s digital assistant cannot understand the human commands. “Now that is a smart phone,” Siri… Read More

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The next battleground for Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google: Artificial Intelligence

  Digital personal assistants today can help you send messages, place phone calls, schedule meetings or find answers from the Internet. But there’s evidence that all the major tech giants are investing heavily in artificial intelligence to try and make digital assistants do a whole lot more helpful. At least that is what Raj Singh, the founder and CEO… Read More

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Here are Siri’s 7 favorite sports teams

While the lovely iPhone assistant Ms. Siri may not have a favorite sport, she definitely has her preferences for certain teams. Oregon State University football coach Mike Riley asked his Twitter followers to perform a simple task on Tuesday: Ask #Siri who her favorite college football team is? Just do it. #GoBeavs — Mike Riley… Read More

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Microsoft exec: Siri integration will make Bing better

Microsoft exec Gurdeep Singh Pall is speaking right now at the SMX Advanced search industry conference in Seattle, and host Danny Sullivan spent some time pressing for details on the company’s newly announced deal with Apple to integrate Bing into the Siri personal assistant in iOS 7. Pall seemed to be doing his best not to… Read More

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Surprise: Apple’s Siri adopts Microsoft Bing for web search

Apple will incorporate web search results from Microsoft Bing into its voice-enabled Siri personal assistant in iOS 7, the Cupertino-based company said today as it unveiled the next operating system for iPhone and iPad. It’s a major win for Microsoft in its effort to gain traction for its search engine, and highlights the ongoing tension… Read More

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This app studies your text messages to recommend restaurants

Intelligent robot assistants like Siri have changed the way we interact with our mobile devices, and can now make recommendations for us. But the technology has yet to fully adapt to our personal preferences. University of Washington graduate student Jared Bauer is developing an application that has several of the same functions as Siri, such… Read More

The Intimacy Dress 2.0

Nerd Notes: Big Macs and the economy, a dress that responds to sexual arousal, moth pilots and more

Editor’s Note: Nerd Notes is GeekWire’s roundup of random geekiness from around the globe. Moths that can drive — You’ve seen a dog skateboard, a cockatoo dance, and a monkey ride a pig, but have you ever seen a moth drive a robot car? That’s what I thought. Three Japanese researchers in Tokyo built a trackball-guided robotic vehicle that… Read More

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Report: New Xbox to feature Siri-esque voice recognition

You wake up in the morning, walk into the living room and say “Xbox on” to activate your gaming console. This could very well be reality if there’s truth to a recent report from The Verge. Sources close to Microsoft’s plan for the next-generation Xbox told The Verge that the new Xbox will include improved… Read More

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Apple’s Siri turns one: Do iPhone users care?

One year ago today, Apple introduced Siri to the world. For some, Siri represented the future of how we might interact with our devices. But for a great many, reality has not exactly lived up to the hype (especially as advertised by Samuel L. Jackson and Zoey Deschanel).  According to a survey conducted by the… Read More

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Next IT’s virtual travel agent aids airlines without the human touch

You may have already come across “Jenn” at Alaskaair.com or “Alex” at United.com, the virtual travel agents that help consumers gets answers to their travel questions. Now, the company behind those virtual agents, Spokane’s Next IT, is rolling out a more powerful offering dubbed ActiveAgent for Airlines that is designed to more quickly answer questions… Read More

Craig Mundie. (Microsoft file photo)

Siri or not, Microsoft aims to beat Apple with better breadth

Earlier this week, Microsoft’s research and strategy chief Craig Mundie and other execs spent the day showing reporters some of the company’s latest research in areas including natural user interfaces, machine learning and data analysis. It was futuristic stuff, and the resulting coverage generated lots of buzz in the outside world even as the event… Read More

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Microsoft: Windows Phone was way ahead of Apple’s Siri

Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, Craig Mundie, is making news today for recent comments downplaying Apple’s Siri intelligent assistant — telling Forbes’ Eric Savitz that Microsoft has had similar functionality for more than a year. Starting around the 2:00 mark in the interview above, Mundie points to examples including the ability to interact completely… Read More