The importance of voice assistants in the screenless future is hard to overestimate. We see speech-driven user interfaces as a key component of the next computing paradigm, so it’s helpful to understand empirically where each platform stands today. In February, we compared Amazon Echo and Google Home to see which assistant was winning the race to become the centerpiece of the home. Google Home won that battle, but it was close. For our next digital assistant face off, we tested the three most prevalent digital assistants available for mobile devices: Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana. This time, Google Assistant came out on top.
We asked the same 800 queries to each assistant that we asked Amazon Echo and Google Home. We graded the queries on two metrics: First, did the assistant correctly understand the query? Second, did the assistant answer the query correctly?
The queries break down into five categories:
- Local – Where is the nearest McDonald’s?
- Commerce – Where can I buy more printer paper?
- Navigation – How do I get to REI from here?
- Information – What is Apple’s stock price?
- Command – Remind me to call Mom at 2pm today.
Google Assistant, the clear winner, understood 99.9% of the queries we asked and answered 74.8% of them correctly. Siri understood 94.4% of the queries we asked and answered 66.1% of them correctly. Finally, Cortana understood 97.3% of the queries we asked and answered 48.8% of them correctly.
By category, Google’s lead in navigation and information is demonstrable, but there’ more parity between Siri and Google Assistant in local, commerce and command related queries. Cortana lagged both Siri and Google Assistant in all categories, narrowly coming in second only in information.