AI assistants Cortana and Alexa collaborating for first time

Microsoft has announced a “first-of-its-kind collaboration” with Amazon between its voice-enabled virtual assistant Cortana and Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa.

The collaboration means that Cortana will have be able to access Alexa, while also allowing Alexa to access Cortana.

“Available later this year, this collaboration will allow you to access Alexa via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs, followed by Android and iOS in the future. Conversely, you’ll be able to access Cortana on Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show,” Microsoft’s Andrew Shuman said in an official blog post.

“Cortana users will be able to have Alexa shop on and manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa’s third-party skills by asking Cortana to open Alexa, just as Alexa users will have access to Cortana’s world knowledge and helpful productivity features such as calendar management, day at a glance and location-based reminders simply by asking Alexa to open Cortana,” added Shuman.

The announcement comes amid fierce competition among tech giants to gain market dominance in the new and emerging market of AI-powered voice assistant technology.

Microsoft partnering up with Amazon suggests that AI powered agents such as Alexa and Cortana could be better off working together instead of directly competing.

“The world is big and so multifaceted. There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas,” said Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, in a statement today.