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    February 10, 2017

    Microsoft’s Cortana can now probe your emails to suggest proactive reminders

    cortana suggested reminders

    Microsoft’s latest update to Cortana brings the ability for the digital assistant to proactively remind users of promises they’ve made in email messages.

    We’ve all made a promise by email and forgotten about it at some point, and the consequences we might face as a result vary. Microsoft has been working on this problem, and a new update to Cortana brings a much-needed new trick to the table.

    Using machine learning technology that was developed in conjunction with Microsoft Research, Cortana can now automatically recognise a commitment a user has made in an email and will proactively suggest a reminder to follow through.

    Read: Cortana could arrive on smart fridges, toasters, and other appliances in the future

    Cortana’s Suggested Reminders feature works in the background, and continuously scans emails for details that might be worthy of a reminder. Should a user have defined a deadline in the email – say, end of week (EOW) – Cortana will automatically remind a user before at a salient timeframe by placing a suggestion in the Action Center.

    Other suggested reminders will form a catalogue in Cortana’s main menu, where users will be able to preview and selectively approve or dismiss items as they appear.

    Suggested Reminders will debut in the US onboard Windows as of now, and Microsoft has promised that the feature will roll out to both iOS and Android versions of the digital assistant within the coming weeks. The feature will further support Outlook.com, Office 365 work, work and school email addresses, while support for other email services will come in the near future.

    The feature comes as part of Microsoft’s renewed push into the burgeoning digital assistant area, in which contenders like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are quickly carving out territories.

    Read: How to get and use Cortana on the Xbox One in South Africa

    What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on twitter: @bryansmithSA

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