Most of us could probably stand to be a little bit more organized, whether it's remembering to pick up milk on the way home or making sure not to miss little Katie's recital right after turning in those blueprints to the boss at noon. That is where digital assistants can be useful. Cortana is one of them and Microsoft is making its smarty pants AI even more helpful by having her hold you accountable to what you say in emails.
"Cortana already gives you reminders for people, places and times, and helps you make and manage to-do lists so you don’t forget a thing. Now, Cortana can help you remember things you’ve said you would do in your emails—without you even having to ask," Microsoft explains in a blog post.
To make this possible, Cortana's new skill taps into machine learning technology developed in partnership with Microsoft Research. She automatically recognizes when you make a commitment in email messages, such as promising the head honcho that you'll have that report finalized by the end of the day, or remembering to buy tickets for the big game. Then when the time is right, Cortana will give you a reminder.
To use the new feature, all you have to do is type and send emails as you normally would, and be sure to include when you'll do something. Cortana will recognize your plan of action and jot the details down in a suggested reminder like the one shown above. If you've included a deadline, she'll remind you before it's due and save it in the action center.
One of the obvious concerns here is that of spying. If you're worried about Cortana snooping your emails in such a manner, you can withhold giving her communications consent.
For the time being, this feature is tied to Outlook.com and Office 365 work and school email addresses. Microsoft says support for other email services will arrive soon, though it did not give a specific time frame or mention which email services—supporting Gmail would be huge and we're crossing out fingers it gets included.
The new feature is also limited to users in the U.S. who are running Windows 10. Support for iOS and Android will roll out in the coming weeks.