The voice assistant war: What if nobody wins?

“One of the clearest developments that came out of 2018, and prominently on display last week in Las Vegas at CES 2019, was the rise of the embedded voice assistant. Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant were omnipresent at the show,” Bob O’Donnell writes for Tech.pinion. “Combine that with recent numbers from Amazon and Google about compatible device shipments, and it’s clear that voice assistants have gone mainstream.”

“Amazon is generally seen as winning the war so far, but Google has been coming on strong, plus Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung are too big to ignore, especially given how young this market still is,” O’Donnell writes. “The dynamics of the voice assistant are now becoming much more complex. At this year’s CES, for example, we started to see even more devices that are supporting multiple voice assistant platforms… An even more confounding problem that consumers are likely to start facing this year is owning multiple products with different smart assistant platforms.”

“While some people may be perfectly comfortable working across multiple voice assistants, and actually remembering which ones are enabled on which devices, most people are likely to get quickly confused in such a scenario,” O’Donnell writes. “Most of the major platforms are working to address the multiple device response issue as we speak, but it remains to be seen how effective it will be as more and more voice assistant-enabled devices start to make their way into people’s homes.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our homes, vehicles, and offices could soon become, if they’re not already, a veritable cacophony of voice assistants trying to outshout each other trying to deliver today’s weather, news, sports scores, etc.!


    1. Ohh, a new way to wreck havoc. Record a person’s voice and then play it back as “Alexa, delete my Facebook account.”

      This is going to be fun to watch. Pranks & spoofing will play out. “I didn’t send that, Alexa did (or whatever).”

      I wonder how long it will take before governmental offices disallow voice assistants … or will they?

    2. For home automation, Alexis wins easily. For AI personal assistant, it’s Google by a nose.

      What’s most interesting here, is that Cook had a 5-year advance on the competition and still gift wrapped and handed this lucrative market to Amazon and Google. He preferred to get his revenue from his port-removal and dongle business, his planned obsolescence product model, and of course his price extortion practices.

      Now that Wall Street, the average Joe Apple consumer, Apple Mac Pro users, and even once avid Apple fanboys are fed up with Tim Cook and his deceitful practices in 2019, understandably he must realize his days at the helm of Apple are numbered.

      And people actually wonder why Cook can’t compete in the content space?

      1. Zero chance I’ll have ether an Amazon or Google voice assistant in my house.

        Tim Cook recently said there are over 500 million Siri enabled devices in the world. Siri was recently shown to be the most improved assistant by far. Sounds not so terrible.

        1. That’s because every iPhone, iPad and recent Mac is a “Siri enabled device”, but how many people really use it?
          I tried many, many times but it’s just bad compared to Alexa.

  1. Funny how the article goes from “it’s clear that voice assistants have gone mainstream.” to “Amazon is generally seen as winning the war so far” when describing companies competing with each other for a new mainstream technology.

    Considering this is coming from Apple’s home nation, it really doesn’t matter if nobody wins, as long as there is a war, it’s a fetish for that country, part of their DNA (Destructive Nuclear Arsenal). Heck they don’t even need a reason for war, just look at the genocide currently happening in Iraq. Any justification for that? Of course there is, they are looking for some weapons of mass destruction program and have been looking for 15 years. Hard to be any more geographically ignorant than that.

    Nobody wins the war, not a problem for Apple’s home nation, as long as their is a war.

  2. Voice assistants are the least sticky UI ever devised. Each offers no moat to protect its respective ecosystem. All that matters is for SIRI to stay in the hunt and remain competitive. Apple hardware, design, and OS ecosystems will do the rest. That said, I expect that we will see massive improvements to SIRI, AI, and ML with this year’s software update cycle from Apple.

  3. I do hope they all lose.

    Before the silicon valley infatuation with Night Rider, electronics could be silent and unobtrusive. Today who knows how the spy mics will take and use everything you say.

    So the goal is to dumb down people so they are dependent on the “knowledge” of these creepy big brother overlords. MDN righties should have their panties in a twist knowing that a handful of unregulated left coast geeks are establishing themselves as the ultimate arbiters of truth. For sale to the highest ad bidder domestic or foreign.

  4. What if no one wins? Doesn’t matter. What if someone wins? Doesn’t matter. Apple’s customers use Siri not because it “won” but because it’s what comes with the device. You COULD use something else on iOS but the functionality will be limited.

    In fact, coming off of CES, it would appear that Apple doesn’t care who wins either. Whomever wins, they’ll have services tailored towards the winner’s customers, heck, maybe even the loser’s customers 🙂

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.