Jazmin Kopotsha | Culture Writer | Monday, 13 February 2017

Microsoft’s Cortana Can Now Stop You From Being Flaky And It’s Terrifying

Microsoft’s Cortana Can Now Stop You From Being Flaky And It’s Terrifying

The Debrief: ‘We should totally grab coffee sometime next week’… never actually meets for coffee

There are plans and there are ‘plans’. The former is pretty straightforward because you usually have every intention of actually doing something at an agreed point in time. But ‘plans’ tend to be loosely thrown into conversation for the sake of having something to say. 

We've all been there. Stuck in a conversation that you don’t want to be in? Make a ‘plan’ to talk at a later date. Bumped into an old friend you’d really rather not speak to? Arrange to go for lunch and ‘catch up properly’. Boss asks you to do something that isn’t urgent? Say you’ll look into it next week. 

I'll probably get in trouble with, well everyone I know, for saying this, there’s actually some sort of disruptive beauty to pre-emptive flakiness. Sort of. Like it or not, it's very much part of life these days and we’re all so guilty of it.

I'm sorry to say our flaky days may be numbered, though. You know Cortana? Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Alexa? Well, it has a new feature that’ll call you out before you have the chance to forget about those non-plan ‘plans’ you made.

It's called 'suggestive reminders' and involves Cortana scanning your emails and noting every time you say that you’ll do something, reports The Times. Then the virtual assistant will then send you a notification to remind you of that lunch you said you'd arrange next week, which is kind of terrifying for a serial flaker.

As long as you're connected to your Microsoft email account and have signed into Cortana, it'll read through your emails of its own accord, recording the commitments you've made. According to Tech Crunch the new functionality can pick up on the type of language we use when making plans - so when you tell your colleague that you'll get something done by the end of the day, Cortana will pick up on that too. 

If you're worried about security and that idea of yet another thing on the internet knowing everything about your life, apparently Microsoft have said that the scans are performed locally on your device and that the details of whatever it is you said you're going to do are only sent over to the Microsoft servers when you actively agree to having the reminder set. 

Like this? You might also be interested in…

Here Are The Organisations That Wil Soon Be Able To See Your Internet History

The Flakiness Epidemic: Is It Ruining Your Friendships?

What Does Your Phone Bacteria Say About You?

Follow Jazmin on Twitter @JazKopotsha