App show­down: The best dig­i­tal as­sis­tants for your smart­phone

WITH THE LAUNCH OF GOOGLE HOME AND OTHER SMART SPEAK­ERS, DIG­I­TAL AS­SIS­TANTS ARE BACK IN THE SPOT­LIGHT, SO WE’VE FIRED UP OUR PHONES AND TAKEN A LOOK AT HOW THEY COM­PARE.

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - [ JOEL BURGESS ]

WHILE ASK­ING YOUR smart­phone as­sis­tant to per­form sin­gle tasks mightn’t seem all that com­pli­cated, when you add up the vol­ume and di­ver­sity of tasks us hu­mans can re­quest, the re­quire­ments for com­pe­tency be­come quite con­sid­er­able.

First and fore­most among those is the abil­ity to ac­cu­rately com­pre­hend the words that you’re us­ing to com­mu­ni­cate, some­thing that’s made dif­fi­cult by the huge va­ri­ety of lan­guages on the planet... not to men­tion the fur­ther regional dif­fer­ences in pro­nun­ci­a­tion within those lan­guages.

For­tu­nately, AI-pow­ered ma­chine learn­ing has sig­nif­i­cantly ac­cel­er­ated the over­all com­pre­hen­sion of smart­phone as­sis­tant soft­ware to a point where the ma­jor con­tenders should be able to cor­rectly recog­nise vast ma­jor­ity of what English speak­ers are say­ing — per­haps even Ge­ordies...!

But un­der­stand­ing your speech is just the be­gin­ning — smart­phone as­sis­tants re­ally earn their keep by what they can ac­tu­ally do, and how help­ful these spo­ken short­cuts ac­tu­ally are.

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