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Intelligent personal assistant

By on August 10, 2017 in Announcement, Editor's Desk with 0 Comments

IPA

In the constantly changing world of technology, IPA’s or intelligent personal assistants have been touted by many as the next revolutionary technology that will change the way how we live our day to day lives. This is perhaps also the reason why global technology behemoths such as Apple, Microsoft, Google etc. are spending massively in research to keep improving their existing intelligent personal assistants. To the uninitiated, an intelligent personal assistant is simply a software that can perform diverse tasks such as providing relevant information to queries, health monitoring, giving reminders of scheduled meetings etc. Almost all of us would be aware of and perhaps would be currently using Siri, Cortana, Google Now etc. These are only some examples from a whole host of intelligent personal assistants that are available today.

What makes intelligent personal assistants so preferred by everyone today. Are they really as good as they are made out to be? We answer this by looking at 4 of the most popular intelligent personal assistants available in the market today.

Siri

Originally released with the Iphone 4S in the year 2011, Siri quickly became a rage amongst Iphone users. Today Siri is available on every device that runs on IOS. Although widely appreciated for it’s ability to provide relevant information, it has also been previously criticized by a lot of people for it’s failure to understand certain English and other accents. Initially thought of as a revolutionary technology, as of today Siri is facing stiff competition from other intelligent personal assistants.

Pros – Right from writing text messages to posting status updates on social media sites, Siri comes packed with features. Moreover, Siri can also solve simple to complex mathematical problems. Other features include booking movie tickets and also making reservations at your favorite restaurant. Siri these days comes with a hands free mode, it can be activated by just saying “Hey Siri”.

Cons – Siri periodically has listening problems and in spite of some pretty effective updates, it still sometimes has trouble understanding certain English and other accents. Other letdowns are, Siri works a lot more better when your device is connected to Wi fi than on a mobile network and limited access to 3rd party apps.

 

Google Now

Google Now was first released on July 9,2012. It was included in the Android 4.1 ( also known as Jelly Bean), with the first compatible phone being the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Initially only compatible with android devices, Google released Google Now for IOS devices on April 9, 2013. Owing to the open source nature of Android and the plethora of Android devices, Google Now is perhaps the most widely used intelligent personal assistant today.

Pros – Easy and sleek interface, can also be used on personal computers with the chrome browser . Moreover Google Now has unrivaled predictive powers and provides accurate information almost all the time. It understands different accents much better as compared to Siri

Cons – Takes up too much device battery, geared more towards android devices, specifically the new ones. Moreover, Google Now doesn’t have a personality or real life like feel which Siri has.

 

Microsoft Cortana

Cortana was initially released by Microsoft on April 2, 2014. Afterwards in January 2015, Cortana was made available for desktop and mobile devices with Windows 10. Later in the year, Cortana was released for devices running with Android and IOS platforms also.

Pros – Very predictive, anticipates questions and provides relevant information without the user having to ask further. Provides both summarized as well as detailed information on almost every topic. Can be used to make reservations, book cabs, tweak your living and working spaces as per requirement etc. Also, Cortana is able to connect to much more devices as compared with Siri.

Cons – Cortana lacks the conversational knowledge and has difficulty understanding informal language. Moreover, sometimes it’s very slow as compared to Siri and Google Now.

 

Amazon Alexa

Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon. Initially released in November 2014, it’s available for both IOS and Android devices. Despite having been released later, Alexa is today giving very tough competition to Siri and Google Now. This is primarily because of it’s versatility and the wide range of services it offers.

Pros – Apart from voice interaction, Alexa is also capable of making to do lists, music playback, streaming podcast and providing information on weather & traffic. Alexa can further be used as a home automation system and can control several devices. It can also play music from phone, tablets or even from various music streaming services like Apple music, Google play music etc.

Cons – Sometimes it requires a query to be asked a pre-specified way only to give the correct answer. Moreover, many times the commands need to be repeated again and again for Alexa to provide the correct answer. One more issue that has come to light is that devices on which Alexa runs ( such as Amazon echo, ivee, Triby smart speaker etc. ) tend to have performance issues occasionally.

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