At some point, not too long ago in the past, the world was full of helpers. People whose job was to schedule appointments, answer calls, and generally do other people’s business so they can focus on their main job.
There is much less need for human helpers these days. Personal assistants are a luxury reserved for a select few. You can thank computer technology for this trend as it is now quite easy to manage your time and automate many tasks that used to require human intervention.
However, there is room for improvement, and thanks to artificial intelligence technology, everyone can have a virtual personal assistant. These software services are getting smarter and more useful every day, so you need to put in less effort to manage your day and interact with your devices. While we initially only had a limited number of assistants, these days you are spoiled for choice.
Artificial Intelligence Assistant in Brief
If you’ve never worked with one of these assistants or don’t know what they do, here’s a quick rundown.
AI voice assistants mainly accept voice input. Many of them constantly listen to the trigger word, which makes it possible to use the speakerphone. If this is not possible, simply click on the icon to speak your piece. You will find them in smartphones, smart speakers, smart TVs and other smart devices connected to the Internet.
What are people using them for? The exact feature sets vary, as we will see below. However, most of them allow you to search the web, play media, dictate messages, scheduling, and alerts. Depending on how well they integrate with the hardware you’re using, you can even control things like volume, Bluetooth, and WiFi.
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One of the most impressive uses of these voice assistants is as part of a smart home system. This allows you to control things like the thermostat, garage doors and other connected devices just by talking to the AI! Now let’s take a look at some real helpers and what they have to offer.
The usual suspects
These AI assistants are the ones that most people have at least heard of. These are groundbreaking services backed by some of the world’s largest technology companies.
Since almost all assistants run in the cloud, these four have many benefits, not to mention the advanced machine learning algorithms developed or purchased by the big players. You almost certainly already have one of these on your phone, tablet, or smart speaker.
Siri is a product that brought the idea of ??an AI voice assistant to life. This assistant first came with the iPhone 4S and has been present on all Apple mobile devices ever since. Obviously, you can only use Siri on Apple hardware, but Siri isn’t the only iPhone game in town anymore.
Apple recently opened Siri to app developers and also introduced a feature known as Siri Shortcuts. They are like customizable macros that you can customize with your own voice triggers, making Siri one of the most versatile assistants to date.
In terms of natural language ability, Siri is not bad at all. However, compared to Google Assistant, Siri does not seem to understand more complex phrases and more subtle speech. Siri is great in terms of actual recognition, but it doesn’t have as much brain as it could have.
This is not to say that Siri cannot be smart enough. The assistant will now do things like offer text messages to people you have an appointment with if you’re going to be late. Siri can also automatically fill in the text messages you write, intelligently and natively interact with most Apple apps like Calendar and Apple Music.
Siri has now also expanded to Apple smart home products and devices such as the Apple TV and Apple Watch. The most recent version of macOS also brings Siri to the desktop. So if you are very interested in the Apple ecosystem, it neatly ties them all together.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Apple has developed its own home automation platform, and obviously Siri is central to that system.
Google Assistant, despite its rather trite name, is a powerful AI that is available on almost every Android device on the market. Powered by powerful Google algorithms, this software is incredibly intelligent.
What’s more, Google has showcased some incredible artificial intelligence features that will be part of the Assistant in recent months. Including the ability to voice dial and make appointments on your behalf.
One of GA’s greatest strengths is that it is more open than Siri As such, you’ll find it well integrated with services like Samsung SmartThings and Netflix. It is also used for a wide variety of devices such as smart TVs, Google AI speakers, and wearable devices.
Google Assistant has powerful language capabilities, access to virtually all Google services, and extensive interoperability with third-party solutions. All attributes that contrast somewhat with Apple’s Siri Google Assistant is also available on pretty much all platforms in one form or another, so there’s nothing stopping you from deploying it.
Cortana is named after an AI character from the Halo video game series. It is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and is also integrated with the Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft is no longer interested in phone hardware due to the failure of Windows Phone, so Cortana is available for download as an app for both iOS and Android platforms.
Cortana‘s biggest advantage over the rest is how it bridges the gap between your mobile devices and your Windows machine. The vast majority of users have Windows computers, so syncing between phone and computer is indeed a very useful boon.
Continuing this integration theme, Cortana also works great with other Microsoft products such as Office 365 and Outlook, which also have a huge user base.
On the other hand, Cortana is tied to Bing search. This makes sense since this is a Microsoft search engine. However, Bing is not Google, at least not yet. Thus, your experience may be different when it comes to search functionality.
Alexa is an offering from e-commerce giant Amazon. As such, it has deep integration with Amazon products and services. You can buy anything from groceries to another smart Alexa speaker with just a few words, which is Mr. Bezos’s brilliant business strategy.
There is no doubt that Alexa rules the smart speaker market, but she’s not as popular on third-party mobile devices. That said, if you do install Alexa on your Android or iOS device, this energetic digital personality might appeal to many.
Alexa has many “skills” that allow her to do things like being a great kitchen helper, reading bedtime stories, tracking calories, and locating your phone.
As a regular voice assistant, Alexa looks a little less impressive, but if you’re investing heavily in the Amazon ecosystem, well, you’re probably already using Alexa.
If sticking to the mainstream isn’t exactly your business, many small developers are eager to be your next AI assistant. To stand out from the crowd, these assistants usually try to do something unique and something particularly good.
Hound is brought to you by the wonderful people who gave us SoundHound An application that can listen to the currently playing song and tell you who it is. The need is so common that a whole business can be built around it.
Hound obviously strips off the “sonic” bit in the name and offers a general purpose search, but with the same sense of innovation that SoundHound is renowned for. The main argument is advanced natural language technology. Speed, accuracy and natural speech are the three basic principles on which the dog is built.
Like Siri, Bixby is exclusively for one specific hardware platform. In this case, it is only available on Samsung phones. Some phones with Bixby actually have a dedicated physical button to call this digital servant, which is either a bonus or annoyance depending on your point of view.
When Bixby first launched, users had to deal with a lot of teething problems, but now it’s much more reliable software. Its main advantage is that Bixby integrates better with Samsung phone equipment.
Despite the jokes about how annoying a Bixby button can be, Bixby himself has really matured over the years. We’re now in the third generation of phones that support Bixby, and this digital butler has a few tricks up its sleeve.
With over 3000 voice commands under your belt, you can practically control your entire phone simply by using your voice. There are also shortcuts , which are essentially voice macros. You can set up a series of commands that can be triggered with a single word or phrase. Basically, Bixby is Siri‘s most direct competitor, so if you own one of the Samsung phone models with Bixby it’s worth giving it a try rather than jumping straight to Google Assistant In addition, these two assistants live happily with each other on the same phone.
Robin was marketed as the Android equivalent of Siri, but at the same time it is officially a beta version of the software. This means that if you try Robin, you will help the assistant become what he will one day be.
This is still a fairly simple service at the moment. You can search the Internet, receive news, weather updates, and more. You can make calls, send text messages and start navigation. By all accounts, Robin is a great voice assistant, but it needs some work to be more reliable and functional.
Robin was originally created as a podcast and internet radio control system for driving, but it is getting bigger now. However, if it keeps getting better, it could be a true Siri alternative for Android users.
Download for Android
Lyra Virtual Assistant
Lyra is one of the most formidable contenders when it comes to knocking the best voice assistant products off their pedestals. It is a truly smart innovative tool that promises to do great things. If enough people understand this.
Like Google Assistant, Lyra is designed for communication. In other words, Lyra can interact with multiple requests, remembering what you said earlier and applying that information to the current part of the conversation.
Lyra’s developers have put a lot of effort into natural language processing, which has resulted in an intelligent multilingual tool that cannot fail to match the big players.
In terms of functionality, Lyra covers most of what you’d expect. General issues, weather, social media, navigation and other similar areas are covered in detail. Lyra also has an incredibly friendly interface, which makes her a loser worth supporting.
Resistance is useless
It looks like AI digital assistants are not going anywhere, and if they continue to improve as they were, that’s great news. Once you find the one that works for you, it’s worth seriously understanding what you can automate.
In particular, using the phone while driving is game-changing. Many assistants allow you to make calls, switch music tracks and dictate text messages without taking your hands off the wheels and without being distracted from the road.