Microsoft RMIT Cortana Intelligence Institute

Nov 23, 2021

The Institute focused on researching work-related tasks, an area that will help make Cortana a more proactive and context-aware digital assistant that truly amplifies human capabilities. Using sensors in mobile phones, the team built a complex multidimensional data set, which will be used to model and predict a person’s work-related tasks. This includes the physical activity and location of a user, their online and app behaviour, and their interactions with their social groups or peers. Microsoft’s researchers collaborated with RMIT team members on the development of algorithms that use the novel dataset to improve Cortana.

This research project contributes to a greater understanding of the contextual factors that may characterize, or even influence, the tasks being performed by professionals and non-professionals. We take rich contextual factors derived from spatial, temporal, and online activities to better understand participants’ task habits. We use repeated patterns of tasks as cues in characterizing implicit task habits. We examine task batching behaviours and predict the tasks participants are about to undertake.

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