This may sound a little weird or like a bad joke, particularly given the fate of Cortana but I don’t think the request is as off the wall as it might sound at first.
In the sim, there already is an AI Assistant, if you want it, that talks to you and walks you through a flight checklist for various operations.
And the game already encourages some pretty whacky behavior that you’d never follow in real life for fear of losing your pilot’s license. How close to the ground have you flown? How close to the ground upside down have you flown, etc.?
So if we can already have an AI assistant that talks to us and teaches us and the sim is not worried about departures from reality in odd flying behaviors that are more of a game than real life, how about being able to query the AI assistant by voice as if he or she were a Cortana doppelganger.
If I wanted, I’d like to be able to ask the assistant what a control is in the cockpit and have the AI visually highlight the control, for example. I’d like to be able to ask, “What keystroke(s) control the flaps?” It would be like training wheels that one could stop using when one had learned enough but it would help avoid interrupting sim action. I’d like to be able to ask the AI, “Where am I now?” or “What heading do I need to fly to Austin from where I am?” or “How long will it take me to fly to Austin at my current air speed?” or “Do I have enough fuel to make it to Austin?”
Perhaps the answer to some of these is that I could get another add-on that real pilots might use in real life to answer some of these questions. But just as it’s nice (and required) to have a flight instructor in real life, it would be nice to have a flight instructor/butler that one could talk to as well as listen to and learn from in the process until one gets one’s legs solidly on the ground.
Perhaps the ultimate objection to such a Walter Mitty fantasy is that the sim already screams for all the processing power of one’s computer but a lot of cores are going relatively unused and multi-core processing is a relatively unexploited area of computing. And guess what? Microsoft also makes the operating system that this sim runs on and wants to prove to the world that it’s big in cloud computing and artificial intelligence, neural networks, CHAT BOTS, etc. If the sim world in 3D reality is a Microsoft showcase to the world, maybe adding voice-activated response to the AI assistance in FS 2020 (or FS 2025) is something to think about. It would further showcase Microsoft’s ability to graph industry knowledge and complex game knowlege.