Tag Archive : virtual assistants

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Virtual Assistants - Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant

Siri was introduced as a feature of the iPhone 4S in 2010. While it could only answer simple questions such as “What’s today’s weather like?” and “Who is Barack Obama?”, users praised the potential of the new voice assistant. Quite a feat for that time for a virtual assistant.

Expectations were high, and Siri fell short. Users complained about inaccurate responses to simple questions or commands. If Siri didn’t know the answer to a question, she’d crack a bad joke, which can seem like an unacceptable excuse for not having the ability to answer a question.

While Apple made improvements to its voice assistant, it wasn’t able to meet a lot of high expectations, and that frustrated users.

Alexa

Three years later, Amazon introduced its own voice assistant named Alexa, and it was instantly pitted against Apple’s alternative. Users observed that Alexa was quicker with responses, and was answering more questions right than wrong. Alexa fell short next to Siri when it comes to the fluidity and flow of requests and conversations. Siri could respond to commands better, and it had no problems understanding multiple sentence structures that conveyed the same message.

In 2016, Google came out with an answer to Siri and Alexa in the form of Google Assistant. It became the gold standard for how natural language processing (NLP) should be implemented with a voice assistant. The drawback of Google Home was that it didn’t have the broad integrations that Alexa had with Amazon’s devices.

These three voice assistants are the most popular in the market and each of them has their own strengths and weakness. But, how exactly do they stand against each other? 

The main tests we will conduct for these voice assistants are commands, conversation flow, music requests, home automation, and technology. MKBHD and Undecided with Matt Farell have given us interesting demonstrations and questions that can be used to test each of these three voice assistants. Let’s compare them using the following parameters:

Commands

Voice assistants started off as devices that could answer simple questions such as the time and the weather. Accuracy of response is key here and speed is an additional bonus.

What’s the weather?

Siri, Alexa, and Google Home have no problem answering this. Google tends to have a slight delay in its response generally, but nothing that could test a user’s patience.

How far away is London?

Siri and Google answered this right in miles as the crow flies, while Alexa provided an inaccurate response, or the answer to a different London (there are 29 places in the world called London). 

Conversation Flow 

When humans have conversations, the talking points build naturally and flow from one topic to another seamlessly. For a voice assistant, understanding context while having a conversation is key. 

Conversation

The following questions were asked one after the other to each voice assistant separately.

Who is the 45th President of the United States?

All three voice assistants provide the right answer. Siri cites the source and asks users if they’d like more information.

Where is he from?

When asked immediately after the previous question, Siri and Google fail. Alexa seems to handle context better than its two competitors.

Music

Since all voice assistants communicate with speakers, they need to understand song, artist and album requests. But before we get into their ability to play a track on-demand, its important to note that each voice assistant only plays music from a select set of streaming services. Alexa wins here as it plays from most major services. Google works only with Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, and Deezer. And Siri, not surprisingly, only plays from Apple Music.

Play Get Lucky by Daft Punk

Simple task. No losers here.

Play the song that goes “like the legend of the phoenix”

Alexa fails here while Siri and Google Assistant get it right.

Home Automation

Home automation refers to command-based control over home appliances such as fans, den lights, television, heaters, etc. Here’s how the voice assistants fared with the following two questions.

Turn off the den lights

All assistants successfully turned the lights off. 

Set the room temperature to 70 F

Google Assistant and Siri got this right, while Alexa adjusted the room temperature to a value between 65 and 70. 

Technology

Siri primarily works on Natural Language Processing (NLP) integrated with Machine Learning (ML), and voice recognition. Alexa operates on similar tech such as Automated Speech Recognition (ASR), and Natural Language Understanding (NLU). The technology isn’t too different from google either, its voice assistant employs NLP and ML.

Yes, the three voice assistants use ML and NLP to understand what the user is saying and to make suggestions or respond to the user’s language input. While the primary technology is the same or at least similar, the end result is what separates the three. As observed in the tasks assigned to them earlier, certain aspects of each voice assistant’s tech, such as the ability to understand speech patterns and words,  give them an advantage and a disadvantage.

Conclusion

The aim isn’t to be diplomatic, but there isn’t exactly a winner among the three. All the voice assistants can, for the most part, do the same things. Alexa has the largest home-integration options among the three, while Google Assistant and Siri are a lot more natural to talk to. 

Virtual Assistants

If you’re big on home automation and having wide music streaming options, Alexa is the voice assistant for you.

If you find yourself comfortable with Google’s streaming services such as Google Music and Youtube, Google Assistant is a smart pick. It also comes with a formidable range of home automation.

And finally, if your household is equipped with Apple’s products, it’s a no brainer to pick Siri, who’s device also has the best speakers among the three. Siri also has an advantage concerning privacy, as it encrypts all data, unlike its competitors that use it for targetted ad campaigns.

As a consumer, your goal is to see which one of these fits your requirement and aligns with what you’re looking for from a voice assistant.

NLP in AI and the realization of futuristic robots

How a well-trained conversational AI can empower your business

When the most valuable asset in the world is data, the most powerful tool you can have is the ability to process exabytes of information that data has to offer, and productively so. As we begin to produce gigabytes of digital data every day, De Toekomst — The Future — is with those that can effectively utilize this space, or more appropriately, the cloud. And it is precisely here that Artificial Intelligence is making its mark.

While we have only recently begun making meaningful strides in AI, its application has encompassed a wide spread of areas and impressive use-cases. And the sphere where AI is making its presence felt like a real and tangible entity is when it has a voice of its own. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and its variants Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Natural Language Generation (NLG) are processes which teach human language to computers. They can then use their understanding of our language to interact with us without the need for a machine language intermediary.

AI has grown to become our personal assistant helping us with tasks at our behest, literally. Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Voice Assistant are only a few examples of AI systems integrating themselves seamlessly into our daily lives and routine. They help us plan our schedules, carry out functions without us having to push a single button, inform us of the latest developments, all the while learning more about our preferences and customizing themselves for us just by listening. With our permission, AI can become our best help.

Leading voice assistants | Blog | Bridged.co

How businesses are leveraging the AI assistant

Equipped with the knowledge of human communication, AI bots can potentially be used in any field that involves language to derive fast, intelligent, and useful insights which can then be transformed into follow-up actions tailored for each customer. Companies have realized the benefits of this incredibly powerful service and have begun utilizing them to gain significant market advantages. We will now talk about a few major applications of the conversational AI, and how we at Bridged are helping companies realize their ambitions for the AI-driven future.

Voice Control and Assistance

Voice control and assistance | Blog | Bridged.co

Performing basic tasks — reading messages, checking notifications, news updates, changing settings, operating connected devices, speech-to-text services.

Planning and Scheduling — setting up meetings, calendar events, automated replies, navigation, online assistance, payments.

Personalization and Security — compiling playlists, product suggestions, mood-based ambiance control, surveillance, and security.

Bridged.co Services: Voice Recognition, Speech Synthesis, Search Relevance.

Chat-bots

Chatbots training | Blog | Bridged.co

An ever-present agent ready to listen to your needs complaints and thoughts, and respond appropriately and automatically in a timely fashion is an asset that finds application in many places — virtual agents, friendly therapists, automated agents for companies, and more.

Bridged.co Services: Chat-bot Training, Virtual Assistant Training, NLP.

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis | Blog | Bridged.co

The ability to monitor end-user opinions of a brand or product and gain an understanding of the same on a large scale is clutch in any competitive scenario. Customer retention has become a zero-sum game and sentiment analysis stands at the center of this marketing field. Armed with NLP and machine learning, AI can listen to the scores of available user opinions across multiple platforms be it social media or community forums or even personal blogs. Accurate analyses of brand value at scale provided by accurate AI are invaluable to businesses.

Bridged.co Services: Brand Sentiment Analysis, E-commerce Recommendations, User Content Support.

Customer Service

Customer service | Blog | Bridged.co

AI is revolutionizing customer service, catering to customers by providing tailored individual resolutions as well as enhancing the human service agent capability through profiling and suggesting proven solutions. AI can be put up to a) responding to common queries, b) as a first layer of gathering service request info and routine troubleshooting, c) integrating with the resolution system, learning from successful cases, and suggesting or implementing final calls. AI makes the whole system faster and more efficient.

Bridged.co Services: Chat-bot Training, Sentiment Analysis, User Content Support.

Translate languages as you speak

The need for a multi-language translation book or for a local guide to communicating your need in a tongue you don’t speak is reduced with the advent of live translation by conversation bots that speak your message out loud, as and when you call on them right from your phones and smart devices.

Bridged.co Services: NLP, Voice Recognition, Speech Analysis.

Real-time Transcription

You can count on AI to take down notes for when you are in meetings or need to parse audio or video clips, or just want to pen down your thoughts. Transcription of speech to text is a very common application and finds use in several business tasks.

Bridged.co Services: Audio/Video Transcription, NLP, Voice Recognition.

We are at a very exciting juncture in the development of AI technology. New machine learning techniques including deep learning applied to NLP processes have made it possible to stretch the boundaries of what can be built using AI bots.