We recently heard that Cortana has to deal with a lot of sexual harassment, as people feel free to bombard their (usually female, like Siri, Alexa and of course Cortana) digital assistants with dirty talk, confessions of love or questions about their sex life.
In the West Microsoft does not want to encourage such interactions, but fortunately for lonely Windows Phone users it appears they made an exception for Valentines day.
If you ask her to be your valentine she will respond “Only if you’ll be mine” and present you with a nice love heart.
In general however Microsoft’s Cortana team are researching ways to shut down such lines of questioning before they get too inappropriate.
“If you say things that are particularly a**holeish to Cortana, she will get mad,” said Microsoft’s Deborah Harrison during a talk at the Re•Work Virtual Assistant Summit in San Francisco last week. “That’s not the kind of interaction we want to encourage.”
Harrison noted that Cortana is not designed to feel subservient, as this is not a dynamic Microsoft wants to perpetuate for women socially.
Microsoft’s Chinese version of Cortana, chatbot Xiaoice, is however famously more personal, emotional, friendly, talkative, and at times, and has already been told by 10 million Chinese users that they love her.
“We’re trying to have an emotional connection with user,” Microsoft’s Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon told Geekwire.
Other digital assistants take a different tack, molding the personality to what the user wants. CEO Ilya Eckstein from Robin Labs, which makes a voice-assistant for drivers, thinks there might be a market customizing personalities, noting people fall into a few basic categories. Some like lots of friendly banter, others want just the facts with no sass. One group was quite fond of making Robin repeat profanities in her soft female voice.
Where do our readers fall? Emotionless Robot, sultry sexbot or somewhere in between? Let us know below.