I’d argue that Microsoft’s Cortana sounds more human-like than any other available in the market right now, in fact, it is one of the things that Microsoft always highlights while discussing the benefits of using Cortana. However, Cortana’s human-like voice didn’t help in gaining market share as it lacked in skills. In other words, Cortana failed to get close to Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa, when it comes to skills.
While some of the rumor theories suggest that Microsoft has given up on its Digital Assistant, it looks like the company is now looking to aggressively push Cortana. The company recently released Cortana beta app in the Store, hinting that it will no longer be tied to the O.S. Which will let Microsoft push more update to Cortana, and that will, in turn, ensure quick improvement.
It appears that part of Microsoft’s strategy to improve Cortana is to make it capable enough so that it can give contextual responses. As first spotted by WindowsLatest, in a patent titled ‘PROVIDING EMOTIONAL CARE IN A SESSION,’ published by WIPO, Microsoft discusses how they are going to do it. The idea here is to make Cortana remember previous parts of conversations.
More importantly, Cortana may also get better at responding to your feeling by creating a user profile that would have information on your emotion.
“A user profile of the user may be obtained. A first group of textual descriptions may be generated from the first group of images based at least on emotion information in the user profile. A first memory record may be created based at least on the first group of images and the first group of textual descriptions,” the patent explains.
Here is how Microsoft put it:
The electronic conversational agent may provide the emotional care in a session with the user. The electronic conversational agent may be, such as, a chatbot. Conventionally, a chatbot may conduct automated sessions with a user. Herein, “session” may refer to a time-continuous dialog between two chatting participants and may include messages and responses in the dialog, wherein “message” refers to any information input by the user, e.g., queries from the user, answers of the user to questions from the chatbot, opinions of the user, etc., and “response” refers to any information provided by the chatbot, e.g., answers of the chatbot to questions from the user, comments of the chatbot, etc. The term “message” and the term “query” may also be interchangeably used.