Cortana Face

Cortana dies in Halo but may come back for new battle against Siri and Google Now

The Halo franchise has gone through a very prosperous run with the Master chief / Cortana duo revolutionizing FPS (First Person Shooters). After going through numerous battles together, Cortana says goodbye in Halo4 and it seems she is making a come back in your real life universe, as your personal assistant.

Who is Cortana

To give you a quick overview of Cortana we will hit gaming for a bit…

Cortana is an AI (Artificially Intelligent) character in the Halo universe, designed by Dr. Halsey with a flash clone of her brain through a process called Cognitive Impression Modeling. She is very adaptive and learns as she progresses thereby expanding her knowledge and capabilities. In the game she is the AI that controls the Pillar of Autumn and is later teamed with Master Chief Petty Officer John 117 … the lone remaining UNSC Spartan II Commando. He is the most decorated war veteran in the UNSC and has earned every medal except Prisoner of War. Cortana had genuine, not merely programmed, loyalty to humanity and the UNSC (United Nations Space Command), but exhibited devotion to John-117 beyond that which her programming or mission required.

Cortana was designed to infiltrate computer systems and she is excellent at the task. She has become so intelligent that she understands Covenant technology far more than her makers and in some cases, the Covenant themselves and got to a point where there was no Covenant security measure she could not bypass. She can be transferred among various computer systems and can move in and out of various networks. One of Cortana’s other abilities was that she could control a variety of starships and stations and act as their AI.

Side notes…

Metastability is the theoretical fourth stage of rampancy, where an AI can be considered fully “human.” While a metastable AI can be considered to be the holy grail of cybernetics research, the only AIs who have possibly achieved metastability are 05-032 Mendicant Bias and Cortana.

The United Nations Space Command, more commonly known as UNSC, serves as humanity’s military, exploratory and scientific agency of the Unified Earth Government. The UNSC was formed halfway through the 22nd century, a time when remnants of old cultural ideologies clashed for supremacy in the Sol System. The UNSC served mainly as an overseer of United Nations military operations in space.

John and Cortana
John and Cortana

Back to the article…

Apple introduced Siri a few iPhone releases ago and Android debuted Google Now which is an amazing piece of work; Microsoft is stepping up their game and are looking to catch up to the big two with Cortana.

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer mentioned a new service-enabled shell in the works. And was quoted saying it will be based on, “the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world.” And that a family of devices will use this “deeply personalized” system.

From zdnet

Cortana will be more than just an app that lets users interact with their phones more naturally using voice commands. Cortana is core to the makeover of the entire “shell” — the core services and experience — of the future versions of Windows Phone, Windows and the Xbox One operating systems, from what I’ve heard from my contacts.

In Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s strategy memo from July about Microsoft’s reorg, there were hints about Cortana. Ballmer mentioned that Microsoft will be working, going forward, on “a family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell.”

That “shell” is more than just the Metro/Modern/tiled interface. Ballmer continued:

“Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.”

Cortana is yet another reason why Microsoft is unlikely to sell off Bing. Bing is more than a Web search engine; it’s also the indexing and graphing technology that will be powering Microsoft’s operating systems, too.

Back in June there was a build leak of the Windows Phone OS via a Lumia phone that had an app listed as zCortana, the app was sitting in the middle of others with seemingly uninteresting names such as zDebugMenu and there was little interest at the time.


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