Cortana Localisation Will Bring "British Human" to Digital Assistant

By James O Malley on at

Microsoft's Siri-like assistant, called Cortana, is becoming even more familiar with the British sense of humour, according to Microsoft.

According to a blog on the Windows website (spotted by our pals at TechRadar), the assistant will be localised for a number of different countries, offering subtle differences for different cultures. In China, this means Cortana will monitor local pollution levels in the country's notoriously smog-filled cities, in Italy it will be nationalistic and sing the national anthem, and we assume in North Korea it definitely won't make any jokes about the Dear Leader.

But what about us? According to Microsoft:

"Cortana understands how highly the UK values self-deprecating humor [sic]. Dryness and irony are traits that filter subtly into her personality, and she uses playful sarcasm in her responses if she senses you’re fooling around."

It's a smart move because it means if there are bugs in the code and Cortana starts repeating itself, it can just claim it was doing an impression of Stewart Lee. Though we've no word yet on whether Cortana will decide to use your Windows phone to make prank calls to Andrew Sachs.

The update is also long overdue. We found last year that Cortana often struggles with British questions.

Cortana will be baked into Windows 10, which launches next week. You can find out everything we know here.[Windows Blog via TechRadar]