You hear it more often….

 

“Alexa: ‘Play the song Hard Days Night from The Beatles'”

 

“Siri: Rap for me!”

Virtual assistants make it easier to use your mobile devices but are they a friend or foe?

The first of AI to be released into our daily lives was Siri but other OS makers are close if not surpassed Apple. Its remarkable how accurate the voice recognition functions are, as long as no thick accent is involved.

Voice command makes it easy for young children to find their favorite Youtube video but did you know that this puts devices into a situation where their continually listening. Making me wonder what data their collecting and are private conversation still private with a device sitting on the table?

There are pros and cons when looking at the top 4 virtual assistants out there and we’ll go through them for you one by one.

Virtual assistants works off of specific keywords but does not necessarily means it can understand the everyday use of language.

For example, when ordering a pizza….you can’t just ask a virtual assistant: Where’s my pizza? it won’t understand. A more actionable approach would be:

“Alexa: ask Domino’s to track my order?”  instead.

 

Siri and Alexa are the more popular choices of virtual assistants out there. Siri’s large following due to devices held in the US is far ahead of any others out there. Siri is far ahead of Alexa with 48 million users  versus Alexa at 2.6 million.

 

Siri

Although Apple claims that it works with all apps, it simply doesn’t, mostly  because developers haven’t gotten on board. Its difficult enough for an app to work but to interact with Siri app makers decide to pass.

Out of the top 50 apps from the App Store, Siri is limited to the most popular apps being used with  ride share apps like Uber or Lyft. Even popular messenger apps  don’t support it, Skype or Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Google Maps don’t work with Siri but some do like WhatsApp, Twitter or Yelp. Many developers opt not to use the developer Sirikit.

 

Alexa

Voice Controlled, its continually listening just waiting to speak up and ask Alexa to play a song, add a task to your list or set an alarm. It works well with all Amazon’s music app but again its limited to Amazon’s utilities.

 

Google Now

Voice controlled with ok Google voice prompt launches is relays information with google cards as part of streamlined way of sorting information it spits out from you.

It can preform utility tasks and works within the native Google apps to provide: the weather, navigation to google maps, reminders, updates on your google card preferences. and most of all- its best in accusing question you may have putting it in the lead ahead of Siri.

Cortana

Voice assistant is prompted through its live tiles and can search, add utility functions as google now and Siri and can read text aloud.

Its clear that Microsoft has spent a lot of development hours in getting it just right, with a high rate of answering questions, just behind google now. Cortana does come off as the slickest but then again its popularity is less than other mobile devices on the market.

 

All top virtual assistants  perform well  within their shared native apps – doing tasks as:

  • to do lists
  • scheduling meetings
  • handsfree calling
  •  set alarms

 

….just to name a few.

What About Accuracy?

According to Stone Temple  – based on a sample of 5,000 questions about factual knowledge,

Here’s where the top voice assistances stand in their accuracy of answers:

Google Assistant 68%

Microsoft’s Cortana 56%

Apple’s Siri 22%

Amazon’s Alexa 20%

I though that Alexa would have a higher rank then it does. Having used some of these virtual assistant solutions before, all in all I’m not surprised that Google takes the lead. Although Siri might be the first to release to devices, they all still have a long way to go in offering answers and distinguishing how to answer in the way that people communicate with casual conversation.

There you have it, voice assistants platforms one by one, now its up to you to decide are they friend or foe?