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Jeff Bezos walking in grassy area. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, arrives for the third day of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 13, 2017, in Sun Valley, Idaho.

AI assistant partnership makes your smart office smarter

Using digital assistants is hands-free and frees up time.

This past month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted, “Alexa has made a new friend.”

Those six words shared a moment that is not common among tech giants - a partnership among two competing product lines. The Amazon Echo which features Alexa and Microsoft Windows devices feature Cortana have already begun some integration features since the announcement.

The voices of digital assistants are becoming more common in our daily lives in both cities and rural areas. What makes this partnership particularly remarkable? While the partnership of two large technology communities is exciting, the greatest benefit is to consumers who can access the resources of both assistants including farm offices.

Although it will take time for the two companies to help the systems work flawlessly with one another, if you are a user of one or the other, you can anticipate some additional benefits that each virtual assistant offers.

Smart home (and office) features like locks, lighting, security and even thermostat control that are currently available with Amazon’s Alexa. And of course, you can order anything you need just by asking your device.

Cortana is an excellent tool if you are a user of Microsoft Office suite. You can expect future capabilities to help you to work with these programs with speech and to help you populate data without ever touching your keyboard.

In fact, right now you can schedule appointments and interact with your calendars with both Alexa and Cortana. Both digital assistants also offer simple and convenient services like reminders, timers, list making and even make phone calls.

While this integration will allow users to access both AIs, they will still remain separate entities which may mean you’ll have to switch back to access some of your paid services like Amazon Prime Music.

And while this partnership is exciting for businesses that have traditionally used Microsoft products, it’s not the only digital AI assistant on the market. Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri continue to make improvements and advancements to use technology to help consumers carry out their daily lives and businesses carry out their work more efficiently. And you will probably see more assistants enter the market as we become more dependent on technology to increase our productivity.

  Do you use a digital assistant? Tell us how and share your tips with us on Twitter @nerdsquawk or via email at

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

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