Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hello Cortana

Windows 10 has an artificial intelligence agent known as Cortana.  I believe this is supposed to be Windows version of Siri.

She popped up in the bottom left hand corner of the screen and said, "I'm Cortana. Ask me anything."
Cool I thought. Let's try this out.

The next thing she said was, "Before I can help you, you need to go to Settings and change your speech language to one that I  speak.

She was set up to speak English (United States), which I figured was a language she should be able to speak.  I looked though the settings and thought perhaps she sensed I was in Canada so changed my region to Canada so as not to confuse her.  I had already read that the language and the country had to match, so I tried to set the language to English (Canada), but found I had to download a language pack to do so.  I did that, but then was told there were no handwriting options for this language.  I assume that would mean I can't write on the webpage, which had seemed like the best idea MicroSoft had come up with yet.

Of course, once you change any settings within Win 10, you must restart your computer to see how they work.  And every time you do, you have to enter the password you were forced to create.  Really Microsoft, why do I need to password protect my home computer?

Even with the Canadian English installed, the speech language was still in American English, with no other options to choose from. Cortana is a stubborn creature!  That little downward arrow gets you nowhere.

On Twitter, I wrote, "I'm Corana. Ask me anything...Well, I would if you would let me speak English!!! Windows10 is giving me a headache!"

That got the attention of the Windows Support people.  They gave me a link to see what languages Cortana speaks, and of course she speaks all manner of English (American, Canadian, Australian, Indian, and even proper English from the UK).  But for me, she would only load and work if I lied and pretended I was living in the United States and let set her up to speak American English. I gave up. The problem with that was Cortana gave me my weather in Fahrenheit instead of Celsius for a few days until I accidentally came across where it could be changed.  Now at least the weather is understandable.

Oh wait.....there are two versions of the weather within Cortana, and resetting one didn't reset the other.  I don't know why they would put two systems so close together and not have them linked, but I have managed to get them both formatted to the proper units now.  I'm getting good at this. 

 Windows 10 works well, and Cortana can be quite helpful. She not only tells you the weather and gives you traffic reports, she also gives you the news, keeps track of sports and the stock market.  She can help you track your health and fitness goals, get up to date flight status, see show times and trailers for nearby movies, and send you reminders for just about anything.  You can indeed ask her anything There's hope yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment