The AI video game character that influenced an industry

See the original posting on The Verge

The current wave of virtual assistants owes a lot to a sidekick from one of the most popular video games of all time. The release of Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001 introduced Master Chief’s AI partner Cortana, popularizing a lot of the common characteristics that are now shared by real-world AI helpers. Cortana was a friendly, helpful female voice in your ear, one who blurred the line between companion and digital tool. She sounded an awful lot like Siri — and she did it a decade before virtual assistants became indispensable features of our smartphones and homes.

Halo didn’t invent the concept of an AI helper. It’s been a staple of science fiction for years, with the likes of the shipboard computer in Star Trek: The Next Generation and…

Continue reading…