A layperson’s exploration of all things voice

March 19, 2019

Hey, Google, Siri or Alexa: Which Handles These 100 Questions Best?

Geez. It was only last week that I was complaining about mass media not covering voice enough. They must have heard me. Yesterday, the “USA Today” ran this article entitled “Hey, Google, Siri or Alexa: Which voice assistant handles these 100 questions best?” – here’s an excerpt:

Still, survey after survey shows that Google is the smartest of the personal assistants, with Amazon’s Alexa a close No. 2, and Apple’s Siri behind. Once again, we sat down to ask a series of questions – 100 of them – to the assistants to see how they would fare. But we did it differently this time. I wondered: How would each fare if we asked a different set of questions? Namely, what if we asked Amazon’s suggested Alexa queries to Google and vice versa with Siri?

This survey had a different victor, Alexa, with only 22 wrong replies out of 100, to 25 for Google and 43 for Siri. More importantly, it showed that each voice platform has a unique set of differences. Apple’s maligned Siri is best for basics (sending a text, composing an e-mail, adding calendar items), while Google is usually the smartest for math and trivia, best in smart home for quick setup and ease of use. Amazon has way more skills and different things you can do than the other two.

The article notes some notable voice fails – and successes – and this tip to remember when providing an utterance: “If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying. Often it’s the phrase, the diction, or, there might be a skill in the Alexa or Google Home app to enable the command, like I found for renting a car, hailing a cab and using Open Table for reservations.”