Ad Agency Study Suggests Siri is Lagging Behind Other Digital Personal Assistants

Last year, Google announced Google Assistant, a big upgrade to Google Now, and a bigger push into a proper digital personal assistant.

Earlier this year, Samsung officially announced Bixby (along with the Galaxy S8), the company’s latest attempt at a digital personal assistant, which has plenty of learning capabilities and added features. Amazon has its Alexa, accessible in a variety of devices now but first showcased with the Echo smart speaker. And Microsoft has Cortana, which has been around for quite some time now.

Digital personal assistants are starting to become ubiquitous at this point, and Apple’s Siri is the reason it started getting any real attention at all. But now it’s taken off, and one study from a pair of ad agencies (Mindshare and J. Walter Thompson) in the United Kingdom suggests that while Apple pioneered the effort, it has been left behind by the competition:

“Apple is a voice pioneer, having launched Siri in 2011, but is increasingly seen as a laggard. While it has integrated Siri into wearables (the Apple Watch and AirPod), its challenge is a comparative lack of machine-learning capabilities and user data to make a voice assistant intelligent. Its strategic focus on data privacy and security reflects this.”

The study took the opinions of over 1,000 smartphone owners in the UK, and shows that for quite a few, having access to a digital personal assistant is faster than typing, generally more convenient, and relatively simple. Some folks even suggested that using a digital personal assistant is fun, too, so it sounds like the idea hasn’t been ground down into a simple utility at this point.

However, there are some limitations to these personal assistants. Specifically, while many use the feature inside their own home, 22% of the respondents said that they would feel embarrassed to use a digital perusal assistant by voice in public.

According to the results, the one area where people want digital personal assistants and their AI to improve is personalization, and overall greater intelligence.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, one ara where Apple is focusing, data privacy and security, is a root cause why other companies, like Google, are forging ahead while Apple is left behind. It’s worth noting, though, that Apple has already made it clear that Siri is a big focus in its devices moving forward, so hopefully we should see some noteworthy improvements in the near future.

[via 9to5Mac; Mindshare]