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Microsoft winds down its bigger plans for Cortana with mobile app shutdown

Microsoft winds down its bigger plans for Cortana with mobile app shutdown At Microsoft’s Ignite conference this month, the company announced a new vision for its personal productivity assistant, Cortana — one which aimed to make it more useful in your day-to-day work, including email, but one which also saw Microsoft scaling […]

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The 7 most important announcements from Microsoft Ignite

The 7 most important announcements from Microsoft Ignite It’s Microsoft Ignite this week, the company’s premier event for IT professionals and decision-makers. But it’s not just about new tools for role-based access. Ignite is also very much a forward-looking conference that keeps the changing role of IT in mind. And while there […]

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The BBC is developing a voice assistant, code named ‘Beeb’

The BBC is developing a voice assistant, code named ‘Beeb’ The BBC — aka, the British Broadcasting Corporation, aka the Beeb, aka Auntie — is getting into the voice assistant game. The Guardian reports the plan to launch an Alexa rival, which has been given the working title ‘Beeb’, and will apparently […]

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Microsoft tweaks privacy policy to admit humans can listen to Skype Translator and Cortana audio

Microsoft tweaks privacy policy to admit humans can listen to Skype Translator and Cortana audio Microsoft is the latest tech giant to amend its privacy policy after media reports revealed it uses human contractors to review audio recordings of Skype and Cortana users. A section in the policy on how the company […]

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Amazon adds Hindi to the Alexa Skills Kit

Amazon adds Hindi to the Alexa Skills Kit Users of Amazon’s voice assistant will soon be able to talk to Alexa in Hindi. Amazon announced today that it has added a Hindi voice model to its Alexa Skills Kit for developers. Alexa developers can also update their existing published skills in India […]

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Colonna call, timing a VC pitch, WeChat, patents, and growth

Colonna call, timing a VC pitch, WeChat, patents, and growth Editor’s Note: Shortened week Due to the U.S. Independence Day holiday this week on July 4th, Extra Crunch will not be publishing our normal editorial on Thursday and Friday of this week, nor will we send out this EC Roundup newsletter on […]

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Amazon expands program that pays developers for top voice apps to France, Italy & Spain

Amazon expands program that pays developers for top voice apps to France, Italy & Spain Amazon is expanding its program that directly pays Alexa developers in cash for building valuable, quality voice apps to new markets in Europe: France, Italy, and Spain. Originally launched in the U.S. in 2017 for those developers […]

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Over a quarter of U.S. adults now own a smart speaker, typically an Amazon Echo

Over a quarter of U.S. adults now own a smart speaker, typically an Amazon Echo U.S. smart speaker owners grew 40 percent over 2018 to now reach 66.4 million – or 26.2 percent of the U.S. adult population – according to a new report from Voicebot.ai and Voicify released this week, which […]

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Amazon stops selling stick-on Dash buttons

Amazon stops selling stick-on Dash buttons Amazon has confirmed it’s retired physical stick-on Dash buttons from sale — in favor of virtual alternatives that let Prime Members tap a digital button to reorder a staple product. It also points to its Dash Replenishment service — which offers an API for device makers […]

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Cedars-Sinai puts Amazon Alexa in patient rooms as part of a pilot program

Cedars-Sinai puts Amazon Alexa in patient rooms as part of a pilot program Los Angeles medical center Cedars-Sinai is currently piloting a program that places Amazon Echos in more than 100 patient rooms. The smart speakers use Aiva, a voice assistant platform for healthcare, and is intended to help patients communicate with […]

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