Google Assistant has emerged as more accurate and consistent than Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri in a new test for digital voice assistants. The test conducted by Loup Ventures has found that while Google Assistant is smarter than rival digital assistants, the gap between them is closing faster than before.
For the second year in a row, Google Assistant has outperformed the likes of Alexa, Siri and Cortana in a test aimed to determine which digital voice assistant fares better on a smart speaker. It is not surprising that Google Assistant held onto its crown despite Amazon Alexa powered Echo speakers being more widely used than Google Home devices. In the test, Google Assistant understood 100 percent of 800 questions asked, and it answered nearly 88 percent of them correctly.
What is really surprising is that Apple’s Siri scored better than Amazon’s Alexa. Siri understood 99.6 percent of the questions, and answered 74.6 percent of them correctly. Alexa, on the other hand, understood 99 percent of the questions asked, and managed to answer 72.5 percent of them correctly. Microsoft’s Cortana came fourth by understanding 99.4 percent of the questions, but it correctly answered only 63.4 percent of them.
“Google Home continued its outperformance, answering 86% correctly and understanding all 800 questions. The HomePod correctly answered 75% and only misunderstood 3, the Echo correctly answered 73% and misunderstood 8 questions, and Cortana correctly answered 63% and misunderstood just 5 questions,” Gene Munster and Will Thompson wrote in their results.
Loup Ventures tested Google Home with Assistant, second generation Amazon Echo with Alexa, Apple HomePod with Siri, and Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana to reach its conclusion. The methodology of the test involved asking 800 questions and they were graded on metrics of whether the digital assistant could understand the questions and whether it could deliver a correct response. The questions are broken down into five categories such as local, commerce, navigation, information and command.
The venture capital firm also uses smart devices such as Wemo Mini Smart Plug, TP-Link Kasa Plug, Phillips Hue Lights, and Wemo Dimmer Switch to test how these digital assistants integrated with them. “Google Home has the edge in four out of the five categories but falls short of Siri in the Command category. HomePod’s lead in this category may come from the fact that the HomePod will pass on full SiriKit requests like those regarding messaging, lists, and basically anything other than music to the iOS device paired to the speaker,” the firm said.
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In comparison with last year, all of these digital assistants have gotten better. Last year, Google Assistant had an accuracy of 81 percent while Alexa got only 64 percent of the answers correct. While Siri wasn’t available on HomePod, it recorded a dismal 52 percent accuracy in February of 2018. One key takeaway is that Google’s rivals, mainly Amazon, is catching up faster and its commerce chops will only benefit in the long run.