back to article Cortana, please finish my sentences in Skype texts for me

If you're really, really awkward in Skype text conversations, or you just want someone to think you're paying attention without all that pesky human interaction, you can now get help from Cortana. All you need do is add Cortana as a Skype contact – currently, only if you're in the USA, running Skype on Android and iOS – and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Redmond's not-at-all creepy service'

    "a sneaking suspicion that this is a handy way to collect AI training data is surely not mere conspiracy theory?"

    Die Microsoft DIE!

    1. Sampler

      Re: 'Redmond's not-at-all creepy service'

      No it's German, The Microsoft THE!

    2. Richard Jones 1
      Happy

      Re: 'Redmond's not-at-all creepy service'

      "a sneaking suspicion that this is a handy way to collect AI training data is surely not mere conspiracy theory?"

      You can see it that way, another way is to find out the sort of user who collects 'friends' but cannot be bothered to interact with them human to human.

      As such it is an ideal way to train a system intended to man help-desks to provide responses to those poor saps who want someone to talk to when their 'Super Whizzo' has failed for the umptenth time.

      Try not to forget that it is an opt in system, also has anyone opted into Cortana in their normal life anyway?

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: 'Redmond's not-at-all creepy service'

      Cant everyone just let cortana talk to everyone else's cortana and then, after a few billion epochs, it will be so set in its ways it wont have a fucking clue what we are doing and we can get on with our lives without worrying about it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'Redmond's not-at-all creepy service'

        after a few billion epochs, it will be so set in its ways

        Why so long? Microsoft is resolutely set in its ways, and its only taken how many years? 42.

        Honestly, that is the answer.

  2. Teiwaz

    Will they be selling conversation topics next?

    Phil-os-ophy - Waiter, this conversation is no good....

    Better still, plug all of social networking into Cortana and let her get on with swapping useless inanities with herself while humanity forges ahead with something worthwhile....

    ....Wait, that doesn't serve the needs of the leaders of humanity - they prefer short term profit to the questionable returns on humanitys exploration of the universe.

    In the meantime, just don't give her your credit card number....We apologise for the lack of sanity.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Will they be selling conversation topics next?

      Isn't this just Swift Key integration. Been using Swift Key for years. Saves about half my key strokes per message. My messages are pretty dull so really not fussed if anyone reads them.

    2. Denarius Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Will they be selling conversation topics next?

      I used to to think that "universe is a simulation" theories were stupid speculation. After this piece of "news" I suspect it might be true. A situation comedy universe simulation for a stupid civilisation. The one hope is the above commentards humour. The reality is that the inanities of unsocial media will just be automated

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

    Hey, it worked on Tay...

    1. rmason

      Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

      @DougS

      4chan had very little to do with Tay.

      Even sadder in fact is the truth. It simply spent a day or two on twitter, absorbing tweets and replying to them.

      It took less than a day for her to decide racism was absolutely normal behavior.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

        Can't speak for the source below since I just grabbed it from my search results, but I remember seeing several claims that 4chan found it and decided to have fun and see what would happen if they fed it terrible stuff.

        https://splinternews.com/who-turned-microsofts-chatbot-racist-surprise-it-was-1793855848

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

        It took less than a day for her to decide racism was absolutely normal behavior.

        At a population level it probably is. As a survival trait, being more favourable to animals who you identify and less open to those with different characteristics is probably an edge over over those who say "Look at those funny looking strangers! Let's go and make friends".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

          In my opinion racism is a part of our makeup. Humans prefer their family over neighbors, neighbors over people the next town over, people the next town over over people from the other side of the mountains, etc. Preferring those who look like us over those who look different is simply part of that.

          However, preferring those who look like us and hating those who look different aren't the same thing, and we don't need to simply accept racism anymore than we would accept that a certain percentage of women will inevitably die in childbirth.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

            "we don't need to simply accept racism anymore than we would accept that a certain percentage of women will inevitably die in childbirth."
            I don't seem to have much problem accepting that there's a 1 in 10 chance of my dying after undergoing general anaesthesia. Why should pregnant women not be subject to the fact that medicine at its best is imperfect? How do they claim exemption?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

              1 in 10 chance of dying from general anesthesia? Damn, you need to find a MUCH better hospital!

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

                "1 in 10 chance of dying from general anesthesia? Damn, you need to find a MUCH better hospital!"
                I'm over 65. According to Time Magazine:
                "And the number of deaths within a year after a general anesthesia is frighteningly high: one in 20. In the over-65 age group, it’s one in 10."

                Under the Knife: Study Shows Rising Death Rates from General Anesthesia

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

                  What mechanism would cause general anesthesia to kill you days, weeks, or months after it was administered? It seems much more likely it is complications (or lack of success) from the surgery that is killing 1 out of 10 over-65s, not the anesthesia itself.

                  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                    Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

                    "It seems much more likely it is complications (or lack of success) from the surgery that is killing 1 out of 10 over-65s, not the anesthesia itself.

                    "

                    Indeed. But remember your original proposition was that it was unacceptable that some percentage of women die in childbirth. Inevitably some such deaths are due to such extraneous factors. What mechanism do you propose to exempt women from the consequences of ingesting drugs of addiction for instance? Or insistence on home birth for that matter? What about the mother who was killed when the taxi conveying her to the hospital was involved in a collision with another vehicle? You equated acceptance of such occurrences with racism. I find that bizarre.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    Another good excuse

    to get your location details. Apparently it's for restaurant suggestions. Yeah, sure, 90% of Skype interaction is obviously just people wondering where to go to eat.

    Here's a suggestion, Cortana : it's the 3rd Millennium - how's about you make location data an option and let people add it when they feel like getting restaurant suggestions ? It's not like that kind of data is not already available on Google Maps anyway.

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: Another good excuse

      Yeah, sure, 90% of Skype interaction is obviously just people wondering where to go to eat.

      'How do we eat?

      Why, do we eat?

      Where shall we have lunch?'

      How, Why and Where phases of human development characterisations - Douglas Adams.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Another good excuse

      " it's the 3rd Millennium - how's about you make location data an option and let people add it when they feel like getting restaurant suggestions ?"

      Second millennium thinking. In the third millennium you're lucky to find it's not compulsory. At least, not yet.

  5. Julian 8

    Cortana

    More interested in how to remove Cortana from running on my machines period let alone it hijacking an app and suggesting improvements. I mean, who - besides Yahoo! replies with "I''m fine thanks!"

    WTF is the ! for ?

  6. Steve K Silver badge

    Let's see how it works...

    The new Skype Mobile version is crap on its own (smiley option with each message - really?)

    Let's see how it goes

    <Typing a TXT> The June update for Skype Mobile is completely s.. (shit, shocking, stupid, snapchat wannabe, so bad I installed it)

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Let's see how it works...

      If you trust APKMirror, here's the last version of Skype 7 which we were all complaining about until Skype 8 came along, but with hindsight it really is better.

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Let's see how it works...

        Rumour has it that even that avenue is being closed off as only Skype Mobile 8 will work with the Skype servers at some point.

        The desktop Skype remains untouched as yet on Windows (so you don't have to install the W10 Store Skype App) which matches the Mobile version.

        The design motif to my mind is like the guy in the Skittles advert (milking the giraffe) has eaten too many, vomited into the bucket and then the giraffe has crapped rainbows on the resulting steaming heap.

        1. Teiwaz

          Re: Let's see how it works...

          (milking the giraffe)

          That has got to be a double-entendre...

          And If not, why not?...

    2. hplasm
      Devil

      Re: Let's see how it works...

      Ok!

      "Hey Cortana- why don't you stick your head up your.. "

  7. Elmer Phud

    Haven't we been here already/yet?

    "Share and Enjoy

    Share and Enjoy

    Journey through life

    With a plastic boy

    Or Girl by your side

    Let your pal be your guide

    And when it breaks down

    Or starts to annoy

    Or grinds when it moves

    And gives you no joy

    Cos it's eaten your hat

    Or had sex with your cat

    Bled oil on your floor

    Or ripped off your door

    You get to the point

    You can't stand any more

    Bring it to us, we won't give a fig

    We'll tell you, 'Go stick your head in a pig'."

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Flush with opportunitutes.

    "access your texts and location she'll suggest appropriate responses"

    Hi, I can't answer you right now, I'm on the bog. Leave a message and I'll get back to you

    Ideal those occasions, long a go, when I did palaeoecological field work in Ireland.

  9. Paul Herber Silver badge

    I hate eloquence

    I fact I hate all grey animals with large ears.

    1. hplasm
      Coat

      Re: I hate eloquence

      That's not eloquence.

      That's a hypotenuse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hate eloquence

      I hate all grey animals with large ears.

      I only hate some of them

  10. Deej

    Make my more eloquent *what*?

    Did Richard use Cortana to write the headline? I think it needs more work if so.... ;)

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Make my more eloquent *what*?

      I had to re-read the title twice. It looked like "Make my whore eloguent". (sigh) it's been a long day, today.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Make my more eloquent *what*?

        "Make my whore eloguent"
        That would be a profound misunderstanding of what her lips, tongue and throat are for...

  11. msknight

    The only Cortana I interact with...

    ...is when I'm playing Halo. Started Halo 1 again on Windows 7 recently. Enjoying it. But that's where she stays. In the game.

  12. Pompous Git Silver badge

    Redmond's AI assistant can now scan your messages and make your more eloquent

    Your what? Penis? Left nostril? Belly button?

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Redmond's AI assistant can now scan your messages and make your more eloquent

      I'd like to think this was done with a deliberate sense of irony.

      Like to.

  13. JakeMS
    Linux

    Awesome!

    This may be the Windows 10 feature that makes me switch from Linux to Windows!

    Cortana is shaping the future here people!

    Now if only Windows would support the software and games I need. If they had those I'd totally switch!

  14. Mike Shepherd
    Meh

    "It looks like you're writing a letter"

    I suppose it could work, if it's not another annoying elbow-nudger.

  15. Mike Shepherd
    Meh

    But...

    It will take a lot of AI to make up for having nothing important to say.

  16. sawatts

    So how long before we find two Cortina^B^B^Bana enabled Skype clients having long conversations with each other?...

  17. fpx
    Angel

    Insert Dirk Gently Reference Here

    One step closer to bots talking to bots.

    Can I get an auto-reply feature for Outlook while we're at it? "Yes, thank you Dave, I did receive your mail a fortnight ago and will respond as soon as my bot has received the next update to parse it."

  18. Denarius Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I do not get this unless

    So one is communicating with another person. So why would you need assistance ? Why not just hang up or not contact at all ? Unless M$ have come up with a great way to automate time wasting responses to scammers and those cold call center callers. Imagine, an automated 419 scammers Olympics !

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