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Cortana can now scan your emails to help you keep promises

Microsoft has announced a new update to its digital assistant Cortana which will allow it to set reminders based on what’s in your inbox.

The company announced the new feature on it’s blog on Monday, alongside new calendar management capabilities.

Cortana will now be able to recognise any commitments from the language of your emails and set reminders to help you keep them.

Writing on the blog, Microsoft’s Gabe Aul said: “People often make promises to do things in email but may forget about them as the days go by and emails pile up.

Related: Cortana Tips and Tricks

“Microsoft Research (MSR) was pursuing an intriguing and powerful idea around this challenge—automatically recognizing when people make commitments to one another in email messages and providing reminders. 

“We collaborated very closely with MSR to bring this new ability to Cortana to help people better keep track of their commitments.”

In practice this means that if you agree to meet someone somewhere, or your boss asks you to get some work done by a particular deadline, Cortana will set a reminder which will show the text of what was agreed.

Related: Windows 10 Mobile review

Microsoft’s Marcus Ash told the Verge that reminders are only sent to the company’s servers after you agree to set them, meaning the email scanning is performed locally on your personal machine.

As well as the new reminders feature, Cortana will also get the ability to add contextual information to calendar entries.

The new calendar functions are based upon your habits, so if a meeting is scheduled for a different time than usual, Cortana will ask you whether you want to reschedule or set an alarm for the appointment.

Windows 10 testers received the update on Monday but the company plans to launch them for all Windows 10 users in the very near future.

Android and iOS users will also receive the update soon, although there is no official word on when just yet.


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