“The crowded pack of voice-controlled digital assistants — Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana — are good at numerous things. They can help people play music, set up calendar appointments and check the weather,” Nick Wingfield reports for The New York Times. “They can even get two rival tech executives, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Satya Nadella of Microsoft, to join hands in a rare partnership.”

“For the past year, the two companies have been coordinating behind the scenes to make Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other. The partnership, which the companies plan to announce early Wednesday, will allow people to summon Cortana using Alexa, and vice versa, by the end of the year,” Wingfield reports. “Mr. Bezos and Mr. Nadella are concerned that keeping assistants from working together could hold them back. The way they see it, each assistant has unique strengths that could benefit the other assistants.”

“In an interview last Friday at one of Amazon’s Seattle high-rises, Mr. Bezos predicted that over time people would turn to different digital assistants — also called ‘A.I.s,’ for artificial intelligence — the same way they turn to one friend for advice about hiking and another for restaurant recommendations. ‘I want them to have access to as many of those A.I.s as possible.’ Mr. Bezos said,” Wingfield reports. “As an example, Mr. Bezos cited Cortana’s superior integration with Outlook, the popular calendar and email application that is part of the Microsoft Office suite of software. Because Microsoft controls both products, Outlook is integrated more deeply with Cortana than with other voice assistants. Through its collaboration with Microsoft, Amazon said, Alexa users will get answers to some of the same questions that Cortana can now answer.”

“Mr. Bezos said he had not reached out to Apple or Google to invite them to join in the effort and does not know if they would want to,” Wingfield reports. “‘I’d welcome it,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We very highly doubt Apple would want to join such an effort as polluting pristine ecosystems, both virtual and actual, is, thankfully, not in the company’s DNA.