Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are going to work together


Recode · 2017-09-01 23:34

Recode · 2017-09-01 23:34

At a technology event in June, Amazon exec David Limp said he hoped there would be a day when the company’s virtual assistant, Alexa, worked with competing digital assistants like Cortana.

在今年六月的一场科技大会上,亚马逊的执行官David Limp说他希望有一天公司的虚拟助手Alexa可以和与其竞争的数字助理例如Cortana一起合作。

Turns out he knew that that day was coming. 


Amazon and Microsoft announced on Wednesday that they’ve been working on a partnership to allow their respective voice assistants, Alexa and Cortana, to speak to one another.


Starting later this year, owners of Amazon Echos and other Alexa-powered devices will be able to say: “Alexa, open Cortana” to start querying Microsoft’s voice assistant. Owners of devices running Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system will be able to summon Alexa via Cortana in a similar manner.

从今年晚些时候起,Amazon Echos的拥有者和其他Alexa驱动的设备将可以通过说:“Alexa,打开Cortana”来向微软的语音助理发出指令。拥有微软Windows 10操作系统运行设备的用户将可以通过相似的方式使用Cortana来召唤Alexa。

Why would customers want that — especially with the relatively clunky nature of the necessary voice command? The companies say that each voice assistant has its strengths — features like Microsoft Outlook and Exchange email integration for Cortana and smart-home controls or shopping for Alexa — and that customers of both companies would benefit from an integration. 

为什么客户想要这样—尤其是在必要的语音指令还相对笨拙的情况下?这些公司认为每一个语音助理都有各自的优势—Cortana集Microsoft Outlook和Exchange邮件这种类似的功能与一身,而Alexa是集智能家庭控制或者购物于一身—并且两家公司的用户可以从这个结合中获益。

It’s not clear if the two assistants will share voice data in an effort to make each digital assistant smarter. But there is the hope that someday these artificial agents will be intelligent enough to route requests to the best virtual assistant for the task without a specific “Alexa” or “Cortana” command.


The new partnership throws a wrinkle into the narrative of the emerging world of voice assistants, where Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple have been competing to build the operating system of the future. Google, of course, has Google Assistant built into the Google Home speaker as well as select Android phones. Apple’s Siri has been the digital assistant inside iPhones for years and will power the forthcoming HomePod.

这个新的合作方式给正在发展的语音助理领域提供了新的发展方向,在这个领域里微软,亚马逊,谷歌和苹果正在互相竞争来制造出未来的操作系统。谷歌,当然,已经把它的Google Assistant安装在了Google Home的音箱和一些安卓手机上了。苹果的Siri已经在iPhone里当了多年的数字助理了并且还将驱动即将到来的HomePod。

Does that mean Siri and Google Assistant are next? 

这意味着Siri和Google Assistant将会是下一个吗?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft chief Satya Nadella told the New York Times they would welcome such cooperation. But, as the Times notes, such a future may be unlikely since Google and Apple see their AIs as key differentiators for their mobile phone operating systems. 

亚马逊的CEO Jeff Bezos和微软的主席Satya Nadella告诉《纽约时报》他们将欢迎这种合作。但是正如《纽约时报》所说的,这样的未来不太可能,因为谷歌和苹果都把他们的AI当做他们手机操作系统的主要区分点。

Back at the June tech event, Amazon’s Limp echoed Bezos’s sentiment about cooperation.


“My phone number is out there,” Limp said at the time. “They can call. I hope there is a day when that happens.”







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