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Today, Microsoft is playing matchmaker. The tech giant is trying to pair up its Cortana personal assistant with academic researchers.

Microsoft is mashing its Academic Search tool into a new service that will allow researchers to determine what exactly ends up getting through to Bing and Cortana.

“The addition of the academic data to Bing will make that service even more robust — and will help make Cortana the best personal assistant for researchers,” Microsoft Research managing editor Rob Knies wrote in a blog post today.

And the changes could give academic research greater exposure to a general audience.

Academics will gain access to Cortana features tailored to them. Conference agendas and paper-submissions can get woven in.

The additions could help Microsoft mobile devices running China and United Kingdom-bound Cortana gain a cult following in academia, while Apple works steadily to improve Siri and Google extends the reach of Google Now onto more devices.

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