Fun with AI: watch Google Home, Siri, and Alexa try and understand 8 different accents


Voice-powered assistants may have been getting better and better over the recent months, but that has not always been the case. Siri still has a bad rep from back in the iPhone 4s days when it was barely able to make out what you want from it, and Google Now wasn’t really amazing at it either. The cringe fest only got worse if you happen to have an accent that’s not the purest form of US English.

However, for the past couple of years, things have been getting better – even frighteningly better at times – and the little voice-activated AI assistants in our phones can understand us much easier, string up a conversational thread, and surprise us at times. But have they gotten better with picking up the nuances of different English pronunciations across the globe?

The fine fellows at Wired have decided to test this and document it in a fun little video. Now, we wouldn't call it exactly scientific, but it sure is an entertaining watch. And we have to say, we were flabbergasted when the assistants picked up on certain words, which even the on-screen person believed they botched. Check it out!


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7 Comments

1. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Is it possible that Google engineers have programmed Google Home to repeat the same answer to all the following closely pronounced questions to the original one?? I think they have included either that or similar formula very cleverly in to the code.

2. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Google has the widest AI data collection from all parts of the world which makes their Assistant work the best amongst all others.

4. nikhil23

Posts: 442; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

That's not how it works. when is X person born is internally translated to a common question when is ___ born. After that AI should identify ____ name. In this case, google did it better because internet is filled with Benedict name trolls which AI might have recognized as a pronunciation errors on that name. Hence it was able to recognize the name properly.

3. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I like how Scottish is separated from British ...when they're British lmao

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

I'm just curious how youtube's speech recognition work in this particular video, since it have the same parent with google home... so I turned CC - english (auto generated), and found this line 3:00 "when was bottle dick cumberbatch born"

6. endriklos977

Posts: 1; Member since: May 19, 2017

He did say that though

7. a_tumiwa

Posts: 393; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

why dont google build this Google Home's ai type into google now? should be awesome if they do that

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