Study shows Google Assistant is smarter than its rivals

For the second year in a row, digital marketing agency Stone Temple has found that Google Assistant is the smartest digital assistant on the market.

Stone Temple asked approximately 5,000 questions in an attempt to figure out which smart speaker made use of the most intelligent digital assistant and Google came out on top. The company asked the same questions of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s Assistant. The questions for Assistant were asked with a Google Home device as well as a smartphone equipped with Assistant.

Google Assistant attempted to give the most responses and provided the most accurate of those responses. Stone Temple also noted that Google Assistant was more accurate on a smartphone than when used on Google Home. Cortana came in second place, followed by Alexa. Sadly for Apple, Siri fell behind the others in terms of attempted answers and accuracy.

While Google’s A.I. might be the smartest, it didn’t improve much upon last year’s showing. Alexa, on the other hand, saw strong improvement over last year’s results. Alexa’s attempted answers rose from 19.8 percent to 53 percent. Its accuracy did fall a bit from last year, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering it more than doubled its attempted answers.

Cortana was actually the only digital assistant which increased in accuracy over last year. In Stone Temple’s previous tests, Cortana received an accuracy score of 86 percent. That number rose to 92.1 percent in this year’s test.

“We are proud of our continued work on Cortana and we’re excited for what the future holds for continued growth, functionality, and availability across devices and platforms,” a Microsoft representative told CNET.

Another issue worth noting is that in order for Stone Temple to consider an answer 100 percent correct and complete, it must be answered “fully and directly.” It turns out there are several ways in which digital assistants can fall short.

A question could have multiple different answers, such as a query regarding the speed of a jaguar, which is both a car and an animal. In such cases, the assistant may have given a correct answer, but not necessarily the one Stone Temple was looking for. Other explanations include the assistant’s responding with a joke or choosing to answer a question it thinks is topically similar to what the user asked. There were cases where the assistant was simply wrong, but those were rare.

Aside from intelligence, there are plenty of other factors to consider when deciding on a smart speaker. If you need some help, check out our guide to the best smart speakers.

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