If you are living alone for the past year due to quarantine restrictions, it comes as no surprise that you may have already developed a deep relationship with your virtual voice assistant. Don’t worry, there’s no shame with that. we are pretty sure your feelings have not reached the levels of Joaquin Phoenix in the movie Her (we hope), but it cannot be denied that with isolation and social distancing as the best practices of people around the world to slow down the devastation brought about by the COVID-19 virus, it cannot be helped that the lot of us who have been living by ourselves have developed a slight dependency on these virtual assistants with our daily activities.
Having said that, are you sufficiently equipped with enough knowledge about the AI voice assistants available in the market today? Do you know of their strengths and weaknesses? After all, you owe it to yourself to know these things, especially since our use (or as mentioned earlier slight dependency) of them has increased with the pandemic. Here is a rundown of the more prominent AI VAs:
Anyone who has an idea of AI voice assistants knows who Siri is. Even non-iPhone users or Android loyalists would have surely heard of Apple’s pioneering VA. After all, Siri has been on every iPhone since the fourth version of the smartphone was released to the market, and has been a staple since then. But even if it was a pioneer, Siri was considered a lagger when it comes to capabilities as Amazon and Google have more capable VAs. But Apple, true to its competitive nature, has introduced update after update, which has made Siri one of the most versatile and capable assistants available today.
Out of the box, Siri’s language is English. But, if you are not fluent in English, or you simply want to practice a language you are currently learning, Siri can be of a great help. The first thing you need to do is change it from English to another option. You can do that by going to Settings > Siri > Language, and then choose a language you want from the list.
You may think that Google Assistant is pretty boring, considering its obvious name. But hey, it’s from Google, and the company’s expertise in powerful algorithms has surely been implemented into Google Assistant, making it one of the most powerful and intelligent voice assistants available. Since it is obviously Android-based, it is more integrated to other services like Netflix and Samsung SmartThings. Since it is also readily available on most platforms, there are so many chances for you (or any user who’s not a die-hard Apple-head) to use Google Assitant’s advanced skills.
It generally gave solid, fast answers with context, though sometimes with too much or too technical information. For example, when I asked why the sky was blue, Google Assistant went on a lengthy explanation about diffuse sky radiation that would have any five-year-old’s eyes glazing over.
If Apple has Siri and Google has Cortana, can Microsoft be ever far behind. There’s Cortana, and if you are a gamer, you’d surely know that the names come from Halo, as in the video game. You might think that Cortana isn’t really something of use to you like a mobile device heavy user since we don’t have Windows Phones anymore (cue for everyone to cringe at the memory of Windows Phones), but since it’s available for both iPS and Android mobile device users, what Cortana presents is seamless syncing between your mobile devices to your laptop or computer, which may most probably be running on Windows. For Macbook and iPhone die-hards, again, this is obviously not for you.
Any good personal assistant will keep track of your schedule, reminders and take note of the things you’re interested in. When you open up Cortana, it shows you news, traffic and other bits of information that might be useful to you.
A johnny come lately in the voice assistant market, Amazon’s Alexa may not be as advanced age-wise, but it definitely is giving the three others a run for their money. After all, since it is deeply integrated with the products and services of Amazon, it is pretty useful on everything from ordering groceries to helping you in the kitchen. If you are more of the type who loves Amazon devices like the Echo and Kindle, Alexa is surely the VA for you.
If you ask “Alexa, what are your deals?” you’ll hear a series of Amazon Prime member-exclusive deals that you need an Alexa-enabled device to take advantage of. Once you’ve carried out a purchase, you can ask Alexa for updates on your delivery status, as well as place a reorder.
And if you need assistance on any hard drive issues or your laptop, we guarantee we can help you even better than Alexa, Cortana, GA, or Siri can.