We’ve all got a story where a hotly anticipated tech release has failed to live up to our expectations. Whether it’s a smartphone (or similar device) and its associated software not being what we expected, or a new gadget that promises to make our lives easier making them in fact harder, we’ve all been there.
These popular digital assistants have had fails that are irritating, expensive and sometimes, downright hilarious.
Digital assistants are on the forefront of changing users lives for the better - streamlining processes and making tasks as simple as speaking to it like a real personal assistant. However, Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant seems to have flaws just like any human helper.
An Oregon couple recently experienced first-hand the power of Alexa, when a private conversation between them was not only recorded by Alexa - but sent to a random person in their contact list. Cut to said recipient texting with a frantic plea to unplug the Alexa device. He’d received a lengthy recorded conversation between the couple to his phone, all recorded by Alexa in the comfort of the owner’s house. Naughty Alexa!
It’s not just Alexa that is wreaking havoc in households across the world. Google Home and Apple’s Siri can’t be perfect all the time either.
Users have noted that Alexa, Siri and Home all experience significant difficulty at understanding children, as well as detecting and deciphering many regional British accents. Many fear that these “assistants” may lead to many Brit accents losing their natural twang. Research completed by Newcastle’s Life Science Centre (the Newcastle in England’s North - not New South Wales), found that 79% of British users have altered their accents so their gadget can understand them.
How will this affect speech across the globe in the future? Only time will tell…
Forbes recently conducted a study that pit a number of big-name digital assistants against each other to gauge performance - and iPhone users may wince at the results.
The publication called Apple’s Siri an “embarrassment” and “the dumbest of the voice-activated digital assistants”. For comparison, they found that Google’s assistant answered 74.6% of questions correctly, while Siri answered a mere 32.7% correctly. Oh, Siri.
While digital assistants can get it right a lot of the time, they are just as fallible as employing a human assistant - even more so in many instances.