In an exclusive preview at the moment, Calendar.help leverages Cortana to set up meetings on your behalf. The project aims to bring together artificial intelligence (AI), conversational computing, and calendaring and is a result of a partnership between Microsoft Research, the Office team, and Genee, a scheduling AI startup that Microsoft last year.
Once you’ve signed up, you can get started by just cc’ing Cortana in any email for setting up a meeting, and she’ll help you schedule it.
While writing the email, you need to give Cortana instructions by including natural language to specify the length of the meeting (e.g. “let’s make this one 90 minutes”), timing (e.g. “sometime next week”), and location (“make this a Skype meeting”). Alternatively, you can setup default preferences in advance and Cortana will use those settings without additional commands.
Once this email is sent, Cortana will search your calendar and then email the other person with date and time propositions. Attendees will then be able to reply to Cortana by email, and when a date has finally been found, Cortana will then create a calendar appointment and send an invite to everyone. Just like an assistant, really.
While the service is not yet open for public, you can join the preview waitlist on http://calendar.help. However, our readers can skip the waitlist and get early access to the preview. All you need to do is use the code – IceCreamCake – to sign up, and the first 100 people using the code will get access to Calendar.help right away.
So go ahead, and sign-up, and once you’re in, spread the word to your friends and colleagues who’d also like to try the service.Further reading: Calendar.help, Cortana