When things get tough, Cortana fails to offer Google Now and Siri a challenge

When things get tough, Cortana fails to offer Google Now and Siri a challenge
When we tested the three major mobile operating systems' respective virtual assistants – Google Now for Android, Siri for iOS and Cortana for Windows Phone – we found that while Microsoft's implementation was the most recent one, it was perfectly capable of offering its opponents a challenge. But what happens if you get real specific and ask some pretty tough questions? Two developers wanted to find out, so they created a random question generator with a library full of extremely hard questions, and their findings show that Cortana is seriously lacking when you want assistance with something less trivial than the weather.

According to the results (you can see the way the assistants were scored here), Google Now is in the lead and managed to offer insight for exactly a third (33.3%) of queries, while Siri finished second, managing to asnwer 25.8% of the 60 questions each was asked. As for Cortana, she managed just 11.7%.

When things get tough, Cortana fails to offer Google Now and Siri a challenge

These all sound pretty bad (even Google Now's), so what on earth were they asked? Well, for example, all three were asked whether radon is an actinide and what causes Alzheimer's, among others (you can see the full list and how each of the assistants did here). We tried out some of the questions ourselves (picked at random), and can confirm that our own test yielded the same results. 

Wonder when (and if) Google Now and the rest will be able to offer adequate help with as tough questions? Us too.

source: PAAIST

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45 Comments

1. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Google Now FTW!!!!!!! I kid I kid. I don't even use voice assistant most of the time

7. tury694

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

Cortana is just getting started. I am sure that these numbers are not accurate as she always answers my questions correctly. Windows Phone FTW

10. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

The questions were generated by random and they were really tough so i think it was pretty obvious. Agree though.

22. shaineql

Posts: 521; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Nobudy can beat google at this , this is their field , NEVER NEVER will google be beaten on their own grounds. Try it yourself, google "movie where skinny guy cant sleep" and see what you get as a result and then bing the same thing , thats how far MS is from GOogle.

26. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I think Cortana has a tons of potential but personally, I don't use VS so why I care lol

34. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

A voice assistant is more than just about asking random questions, that's only one part of being a virtual . Reminders like reminding me to ask someone a question the next time i speak to them , knowing my interests, having a personality etc are all different parts of being a virtual assistant . Overall for myself when i take everything a virtual assistants is supposed to do Cortana does it best, to me it offers the best of Google now and Siri..

38. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

I think that's the biggest and the only use of virtual assistant, really. Who wouldn't want to just ask a question like "what were the names of first people in the moon" and get an instant response? On the contrary really who cares using an assistant for personality? No one ! Lol its just a gimmick fanboys cling onto to lie to everyone else and themselves that it is useful or it matters. Its not, and it doesnt

21. shaineql

Posts: 521; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Nobudy can beat google at this , this is their field , NEVER NEVER will google be beaten on their own grounds. Try it yourself, google "movie where skinny guy cant sleep" and see what you get as a result and then bing the same thing , thats how far MS is from GOogle.

36. HildyJ

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

A personal assistant and a personal encyclopedia are two different things. Assistance, however, is only skin deep with Google Now (and, I suspect, Cortana and Siri). If I had an assistant, I'd ask him things like "when's the next home game?" not "what was last night's score?". Google Now handles this fine. But then I'd ask "can you get me two tickets?" and the assistant would tell me what he feels are the best pair available while Google Now just lists websites and the assistant could also buy them when I ask while Google Now is back to websites.

37. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I use it all the darn time. Love google now.

2. muser793

Posts: 60; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

that's because cortana is still in beta. ofc it can't compete with others. btw I love having cortana instead of GN or Siri, u know she has some kind of personality n when she talks it's not like you're talking with a retard AI or machine :/

17. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

I don't need personality from a virtual assistant, i just want answers. If you want a personality you should just go out and meet someone.

23. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Having a voice assistant with personality doesn't make you isolated from real world. In that case you should not install sports games or simulation games.

3. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

I think they should add a personality to Google Now(there should be an option for it in google settings).

4. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

we'll talk to it for a day or two and then never use it. Don't believe me? ask iPhone users how much they use siri.

8. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

To each his own....isn't android all about choice? Usually i don't use google now....but when i do, i use it for fun so having a personality would be good(not always, that's why i said it that there should be an option in the settings to activate or deactivate it...google doesn't have it now, but that doesn't mean that it's useless).

20. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I'll take good info or the actual answer to my question any day over personality. I ask my phone things because I have questions, not that I need someone to talk to...I have real people for that. Like Tritium mentioned, the whole personality thing is "oh look, that's cute, fun, neat" for the first few days. It all makes me fear that the VZW iPhone commercial will be real some day and our phone will eavesdrop on our conversations and butting in and become annoying just like real people!

24. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

I have a real car but i like car simulation, i have real friends but i like facebook/google as i have said before, a voice assistant with personality doesn't isolate you from real world...nothing can beat reality...asking for something funny isn't a bad...judging others is bad.

5. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

None are relevant for me, but one would suspect that everyday interactivity would weigh a lot heavier than the ability to come up with answers to obscure questions. In other words, this test is merely interesting from a theoretical point of view...

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30830; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

WP8: Cortana, Android: Google now, iOS: Siri and Google now.

9. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

What's the point? It's obvious ._.

12. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

If he is talking about choices for Assistants, then Android has more choices than Google Now. Apple needs Google Now as Siri is a bit of a joke, and Apple users do not use much of Siri. Of course, everyone better realize that whenever they use these Assistants, the information is bring kept and stored on a server, where companies bid for that data.

11. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Of course, Siri is redundant when you have Google Now. Nice to see you can use a superior assistant on your iPhone though. :)

14. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

But what's bad is that the android users don't get to use that "inferior" voice assistant....it may not be very useful but it would have been fun.

13. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Did you buy the iPhone 6+, yet? I cannot believe how ugly the phone looks with its over sized bezel and big button.

15. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

If you are so worried about it just buy him a nexus 6 :P

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 30830; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

No need lol, networks been placed on my "waist of time to respond to" list. Google now, and Siri work great, but I use Siri more, since it's built right in. The fanboy stuff doesn't matter to me. Both of them way more than get the job done.

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 30830; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Oops waste

16. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

You clearly trying to get attention lol gtfo

18. TimCook

Posts: 450; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

Even though I have installed both Siri and Google Now on my IPhone 6 I very rarely use them. So I don't really care witch is the best.

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