Virtual digital assistants are the software applications that provides services to the user just as a human personal aide does. It is an application of ‘Artificial Intelligence’- a leading technology in which the tech giants are investing. Before the evolution of AI also, we could see these digital assistants, example: Clippy a Microsoft Office’s aide.
But with the advancing technology, we now can see them with intelligence. These virtual assistants are pushing their way into our lives. The most commonly used and currently ruling operating systems say Android, iOS and Windows introduced their personal assistants. And now the question is how each one is different from the others and which is the best among them?
Some of the developers, as well as the users, conducted a series of tests considering various factors to declare the best virtual assistant. And it is not a surprise that none of them is perfect! The answer is different for different aspects. The tests can be carried out for getting the answers regarding history or statistics, questions related to the places nearby you, reminders or events, and general personality test like you can ask the assistant to tell you a joke.
It is an iPhone’s virtual assistant and has become an integral part of it since 2011. We can use it by holding the home button until it responds. Let us see briefly What can it do?
- It can search the web and produce results.
- It can make Facetime calls (iPhones video calling application).
- It can set alarms, tell you about the calendar events and also manage them.
- You can tell SIRI how the people in your contacts are related to you so that next time you can call them with the relation and SIRI recognizes, instead of searching the entire gallery for a picture you can ask SIRI to show you the image example: ‘Hey SIRI show me the screenshots from new year eves’, play music.
- Can give a list of nearby restaurants along with the ratings (on TripAdvisor: an American travel website), how far they are from your location and the timings which the Cortana produce results similar to SIRI but doesn’t give the distance, and Google now is the least among them that shows the ratings but only of android/ google users.
What it cannot do is that it cannot interact with all the third party applications for security reasons, cannot pull out the information from emails and so on.
It produces results from Bing search. The technology used by the SIRI is astonishing that it cannot just identify the words but can understand what you say. Hence it provides better relevant results for the questions you asked.
It is the virtual assistant of Google and say “OK GOOGLE” to start, also you can tap the small microphone icon on top right of home screen. The Google now isn’t a total voice-driven assistant. Swipe to the right of the home screen on your mobile, and you find the information that you prefer an AI technique say weather, the stock market details, etc.
It can keep your journey simple by showing you the best possible route depending on the mode of transportation; it calculates the distance you travel, can select the song and play it, can set the alarm and manage events.
It shows the pictures on your phone but cannot find a single picture on search. The only disadvantage with Google now is it doesn’t produce direct results always. The most annoying thing about this is that it gives a list of Google searches instead of direct answers. Example if you ask it to tell you a joke it presents a series of links that redirect on tap to jokes.
It is the youngest among the three virtual assistances by ‘Windows.’ This CORTANA not just responds to the voice commands but also takes text commands as the input. This assistant not only helps the windows mobile users but also ported to the PC with Windows10 OS. The CORTANA in association with Bing, can perform online searches and produce results from it. It provides an additional feature: Give commands to CORTANA and get results from Google instead of Bing using Bing2Google extension.
What can you do with CORTANA?
Can know the weather report, can set reminder and alarms, make calls, show notes, identify music, show nearby restaurants and other similar operations. It also suggests travel advice. When you set a reminder all the three assistants do the job but CORTANA goes one step ahead and let the users to edit the reminder by adding any location and time instead of cancelling the event.
On considering the three virtual assistance it is sure that all of them are stupendous. Google now is an outstanding companion that already knows much about you- your likes and dislikes through your searches, YouTube videos, GPS and other applications linked to your google account. Siri on the other hand, has to refine few things to produce results as it is not functional as GOOGLE NOW but is still a good option chosen because of its personality and consistency compared to the other two. CORTANA is surely the juvenile but made a fine-refinement and we can see the progress in its ability to assist. It has a lot of scopes to improve, and we can expect a lot more interesting things from it which require little polish.