The challenge that virtual assistants face in the future

Google Assistant, Bixby, Siri or Alexa are names we hear regularly. Virtual assistants have become very common in the market, and are present in a large number of devices. They are also increasingly important because they can do more and more things and are integrated into more and more services.

Not everything is easy for Virtual Assistants

But the assistants also face a big problem. It is a common problem that most users who have used any of these virtual assistants have lived at some point. But for some reason, it is something that is spoken infrequently, but it has important consequences for the future of this concept.

The use of virtual assistants has become essential for consumers . That is why we see how their presence increases significantly and are on more and more devices. We want to use them more often in all types of services or applications. This does not have to be a negative thing, because it can make our life much easier, but this excessive dependence is something that can play against the user himself.

Practical tests

In the field of virtual assistants, Google Assistant appears in many functional tests as the best or most accurate . It works well and understands user requests well. This test conducted by the Loup Ventures group is a good example of this, where we can see a comparison between the various Virtual Assistants. In the test, participants were asked to ask a series of questions.

Google Assistant was able to respond correctly in 88% of cases . Siri came in second with 75%, followed by Alexa with 72% and lastly Cortana from Microsoft with a percentage of 63% in this case. Some of the differences are notable between Google Assistant and others, as you can see.

These are the usual tests we've seen on more than one occasion. The percentages you get are generally similar, with Google Assistant with percentages above 80% in most situations. This is a good thing, which makes it clear that Google Assistant works fine. But at the same time, it means that in 20% of cases it was not possible to answer users' questions, which could be dangerous for their future.

No reply

This has certainly happened to most of us, we ask one of these virtual assistants a question, but they do not understand or give an accurate answer . It can happen above all with certain names, which sometimes is not pronounced correctly. When this happens, we can repeat the question or word in question a few times. If that does not work, it turns out to be annoying and irritating. What happens if we become angry? We dothe research by ourselves. We end up feeling that Google Assistant did not serve us in this particular task, so we preferred to do it ourselves in this case. An unpleasant feeling, but that has certainly happened to you from time to time. This is relatively common, if it happens in about 20% of cases with virtual assistants. It's possibly the biggest problem they face today.

This lack of precision when performing certain tasks or searches can be frustrating. But it also means that at a certain point we do not use Google Assistant because we know it will work better if we do it ourselves, because it will be simpler, faster, and more accurate.

We already know what happens to applications that do not work the way we want, we simply stop using.
New studies on virtual assistants

In June, a new study at Wired . He focused mainly on the task of shopping or searching products with virtual assistants, such as Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri and Cortana. In it, it was found that 65% of the time, the assistants were not able to give correct answers to requests related to purchases. Whether buying the product, adding to the cart or registering in a shopping list, for example. In some surveys, the results had nothing to do with what had been requested. Software company Elastic Path has analyzed such virtual wizards and smart home devices. They pointed out that only 6% of consumersof these products to buy something in the last six months. The main reason this happened was to avoid the high number of errors in this process. These are numbers that clearly show the problems that users face.

So it's no surprise that most use virtual assistants for simple actions like asking the time, knowing something about the news or a simple question to search the Internet. There may be a relationship between the limited use of these wizards and the rather inconsistent operation they sometimes provide. Many consumers are likely to try to do something more complex from time to time, but have had a less good experience, which leads them to use it only in simple actions.

Undoubtedly, it is a major challenge for companies like Google, Amazon or Apple. Virtual assistants are an essential part of your strategy , with more and more resources and presence in your products. But they also need to improve on all sorts of actions, to really fulfill their full potential, something that does not happen right now. A problem for the future, which could end up harming this industry in the long run. Fortunately, there is time to introduce all these changes and improvements.

All this without going into privacy- related aspects , which would lead to another article.

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