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Google Assistant beats Amazon Alexa, even for online shopping

The research firm asserts that Google Assistant was the only assistant to properly understand all 800 of the questions, but the others were able to understand 99 percent or more.

  • Updated: December 24, 2018 4:07 PM IST
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Despite Amazon Alexa being more popular globally, Google Assistant has outperformed her — and other voice assistants like Apple Siri — in a test meant to understand the effectiveness of smart speakers. In the 2018 edition of “Smart Speaker IQ Test” by research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures, Google Assistant (tested on Home smart speaker) managed to answer 87.9 percent of the questions correctly — up from 81.1 percent in 2017, The Street.com reported on Sunday.

Alexa (tested on Amazon Echo smart speaker) saw its accuracy improve to 72.5 percent from 63.8 percent and Microsoft Cortana (tested on Harman Kardon’s Invoke speaker) improved to 63.4 percent from 56.4 percent.
Interestingly, Alexa was not the leader in the shopping category — despite Amazon heading the global e-commerce space — as Google Home returned more correct answers when asked about product information.

“Google Assistant was the only assistant to properly understand all 800 of the questions, but the others were able to understand 99 percent or more,” said the research firm.

Apple Siri (tested on HomePod speaker), got 74.6 percent of the questions right, up from about 52 percent. The common set of 800 questions were split into five categories – Local information, commerce, navigation, information in general and commands.

Of the five categories, Google Assistant came first on all, except for commands, where it finished second to Siri. Google Assistant and Siri were well ahead of their peers in the local information and navigation categories.
Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) abilities have bolstered Assistant and so has integration with Google Search and its Knowledge Graph, noted the research. Amazon and Google accounted for 70 percent share of the global smart speaker shipments in the first quarter of 2018.

With 43.6 percent market share, Amazon shipped an impressive four million smart speakers, said market research firm Strategy Analytics. Google (26.5 percent market share with 2.4 million sales) and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (7.6 percent market share) consolidated their number two and three rankings.

Led by Amazon, the smart speaker’s category in India grew 43 percent in the second quarter of 2018, said an International Data Corporation (IDC). Amazon with its Echo range of smart speakers, led the category with 59 percent market share, closely followed by Google for the second position.

  • Published Date: December 24, 2018 3:49 PM IST
  • Updated Date: December 24, 2018 4:07 PM IST