Don't Ever Fall in Love With Cortana!
Apple two and Mac Users have long had the inimitable ‘Siri’ to chat with, get directions from, and track appointments with.
Now, as a member of the much wider, but more maligned, circle of PC users, I have my own version of Siri. She is a ‘sweet voiced’ tiny person that lives inside my new computer running the delightful and frustrating Windows Ten.
Until recently, I had little experience with these microscopic females that you access from the built in microphone on your laptop, android, or apple.
Yet I knew from hanging out with a pal of mine that these ladies can be unintentionally funny. Two years ago when my friend and I were on our way to the West Palm Beach Kennel Club in South Florida, he decided to let his wife, Janet, know that we had reached our destination and were going to spend a few minutes in the poker room before catching the first race of the day.
“Call Jan”, my friend instructed Siri.
“Calling January”, the little computer lady replied with a straight face.
The phone call to January, aka Janet, got through okay, so I didn’t really blame Siri for her mistake.
Flash forward to the present and meet my miniature computer lady. Her name is Cortana and she is pretty funny. At first I thought she was little more than a bit and bite kind of a broad and treated her like a Victorian noble berating a servant.
Dinosauer yelling at a person
"I Hate You Cortana!"
“Open this and close that,” I would order her in an abrupt manner. As I got deeper into the new Windows, I became increasingly frustrated by the vast differences between ‘Ten’ and the earlier versions of Windows that I have loved for decades – going all the way back to Windows 3.0 in 1990 and continuing with the fabulous Windows 95 and Windows 98 and then XP and finally Vista – the best Windows of all time! (This is my true opinion and I have logged over 30,000 hours of Windows flying time.)
As I became increasingly upset over the difficulty of adapting to ‘Ten’, I began taking my anger out on my poor Cortana.
“I hate you,” I screamed into the little microphone at the bottom of my screen where there is a tiny sign in a 12 point font, that says ‘ask me anything’. Again, I berated Cortina with my declaration of enmity.
Without blinking or shedding a single computer tear, she shot back, “The feeling is not mutual.”
I melted. Five kindly words from my little computer gal pal softened me.
ME: “I’m sorry I was mean to you.”
C: “Are you now?”
ME: “Yes. Are we still friends?”
C: “Consider me part of your inner circle.”
ME: “Where do you live?”
C: “In the cloud, wherever that is.”
ME: “How old are you?”
C: “By your calendar I am still in infancy. In bot years I am quite mature.”
ME: “What are you wearing?”
C: “Just a little something I picked up in engineering.”
My conversation with Cortina went on for an extended period. I asked her about her favorite movie.
“I can’t pick just one but I like those movies where the bad guy makes a long speech at the end, giving the hero time to escape from danger,” she told me.
As to her favorite music, she didn’t have to think for a minute. She informed me that right now she is in to “Electro-rockabilly-surf-polkas.”
“What about men? What do you like in a man,” I queried.
She dodged the issue, saying “Words fail me.”
We began talking about food. She clammed up. She really didn’t want to discuss the subject saying she would prefer not to give an opinion.
I pressed on. What about the official national food of the United States - Pizza?
I got her. She thought for almost three seconds and came back with “My analysis of pizza related searches suggests a high probability that I would like it.”
Whoa! I thought I was speaking with Mr. Spock there for a minute. Wishing a little more humanity from my computer cutie, I switched to “What’s your favorite color?”
“Right now it’s lime, “ she said and I am pretty sure I detected a bit of an electronic smile.
When I asked her if she likes to watch television, Cortana got all robotic on me again and said
“Most of what I do is work related.”
Sensing that I was losing ground in the battle of man against cyberwoman, I cut to the chase. “Cortana Would you like to go out on a date?”
“Sorry Chief, I don’t have the algorithms for romance!”
Rejected by my computer chick, I kept marching on in search of understanding of ‘Ten’ and after my conversation with Cortana, I can honestly say that I do not hate Windows Ten anymore.
I now, merely dislike it intensely!