New research makes Siri and Alexa seem like lightweights next to accuracy champion Google Assistant

New research makes Siri and Alexa seem like lightweights next to accuracy champion Google Assistant
Google, Amazon, and Apple's AI-powered virtual assistants can be incredibly useful tools around the house or on the move for controlling music playback, helping deliver dinner, improving road safety, keeping you informed, and many other things that make all our digital lives easier. But when it comes to saving actual human lives, it looks like the three aforementioned tech giants still have some work to do.

The first step towards a (distant) future where these voice assistants might be able to provide valuable support in health-related scenarios is understanding exactly what comes out of the user's mouth. Unfortunately, both Siri and Alexa are constantly struggling to recognize commonly dispensed medication names in the US, as evidenced by new Klick Health research published in Nature Digital Medicine.

Said research awarded Apple's AI an overall accuracy score of 58.5 percent for medication brand-names, as well as 51.2 percent in terms of correctly identifying generic names of drugs. While that essentially means Siri was right most of the time, the two numbers are hardly impressive for a nearly 8 year-old piece of software that should be able to quickly scan the web for answers to all your questions.

The same goes for Amazon's Alexa, which scored even lower accuracy rates of 54.6 and 45.5 percent for recognizing medication brand-names and generics respectively. Incredibly enough, Google Assistant completely obliterated its competition, correctly identifying generic drug names 84.3 percent of the time while boasting a 91.8 percent accuracy score for brand-names. That's still not perfect, but it's yet another area where the search giant's 2016-released digital assistant shines. 

That shouldn't come as much of a surprise, though, as Google crushed Apple and Amazon before in general reports judging the overall "IQ" of these assistants based on questions covering several large categories of information, from commerce to navigation to command skills. Google Assistant was also found last year more proficient at understanding accents, which actually comes up in the new research paper as well. 

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20 Comments

1. Gryffin

Posts: 60; Member since: Dec 19, 2018

Where's Bixby?

2. IT-Engineer

Posts: 546; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Funeral home!

4. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Maybe this is the reason why Sammy might abandon it in their next flagships. And Samdroids still gonna make a defense for this. About how perfect Bixby is.

7. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Apart from Techie and very few diehard Samsung fanboys, no one likes Bixby and you can check Samsung's forums or XDA to see how much Samsung phone owners hates it. And isn't funny that an Apple zombie like yourself is criticizing fanboys on the other camp? Your short history on this website doesn't give you any right to criticize others for blindly defending their favorite company, when all you ever do is exactly the same as them.

18. oldskool50

Posts: 1581; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Really? I don't like voice assistance at all. I find ALL of them to be equally dumb. I can usually get the results I need faster, using my hands. The only cool thing about them is, NOTHING. Do they come in handy? Sure they do! When I'm riding and I need to get info and I don't want to stop and pull the phone out my pocket, or try to ride holding my phone, it works better for me to slow down so I can speak to the assistant and get info I need. Like directions. But overall I do not depend on them and find them to be pointless, except for an occasional use. I find them all, whether its Siri, Bixby, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant to be all gimmicky. And as I said, yes they can be useful. But in most cases the exceptions of when we use them, don't happen all that often and we have always gotten that info quickly by other means. It actually takes longer to use them. Example. Let's say I am riding an I need directions. First you have to activate the assistance, with voice, then after confirming it heard you, you give it a command, and then you have to wait for the response. In this same 3 step process, I can simply open Google maps and type in what info I need and get the same results. And i can input it correctly the very first time, while many voice assistance don't always get request right on the very first try. Voice assistance have context and language barriers which also make them a chore to use. Alexa and Siri and Bixby and all the rest struggle with my wife's accent. You come out quicker just gettign the info by other means and that is fact. They can come in handy, but they are simply another form of input. Typing is faster. Launching an app is faster. Stop acting like you know people, because obviously you don't. Every time you fools try to assume what someone thinks or is gonna be in agreement with, you tend to be wrong. and yet no matter how wrong, you've been proven to be over and over; you still stupid enough to keep doing it. You know what kind of person that is? They are usually called trolls.

10. sgodsell

Posts: 7377; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Why do you guys think that Bixby is the only thing on Samsung's devices. Especially since Google Assistant is also on Samsung's smartphones and tablets as well. You can easily bring up Google Assistant instead.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17358; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You seem hurt that Apple, once again, is playing distant runner up to Google and Android. Here's the beauty of Bixby on a Samsung phone - if you don't like it, you can simply use the #1 smartphone assistant by a country mile, Google Assistant.

3. cmdacos

Posts: 4214; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Didn't really need reserach to find this out.

5. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Google isn’t surprising that it always comes first when it comes to data. I bet if Facebook will make one, they will go straight to top 2. But for me, apple’s Siri is getting smarter especially its Siri Shortcuts. Also, its privacy and security are things to compliment. Long press side button or say “Hey Siri” then speak your keyword and then voila, it works perfectly with your assigned task.

6. TheOracle1

Posts: 2291; Member since: May 04, 2015

What's the use of the security when it only gets things right 50% of the time? I understand you trying to deflect but Siri still sucks.

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7377; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Iloveapps is funny if he actually thinks that Siri shortcuts makes Siri smarter. The joke is on him, because Siri shortcuts is nothing more than a glorified routines compared to other voice Assistants. Siri is so locked down and restricted, that developers have mostly given up trying to make SiriKit apps. Even with Apples latest updates from WWDC, Apple only added a couple of new domains or categories where your SiriKit apps can work under, or Apple supports. Bringing the total to now 12 domains (lame). The competition have no such restrictions with what domain or categories your voice app can activate or operate under. Those developers can make any voice apps they want. SiriKit developers still cannot make any standalone voice apps for Apples one and only smart speaker, their HomePod.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7377; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Google Assistant is the king, and all the rest just try to follow.

14. Mike88

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Siri is pretty accurate if you aren't too weak in English, it works more than Google or Alexa

15. Vancetastic

Posts: 1352; Member since: May 17, 2017

LOL. You need to up your troll game, dude.

20. tedkord

Posts: 17358; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Apparently not.

8. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

New research "makes" Siri and Alexa "seem like" lightweights next to accuracy champion Google Assistant. I see what you're trying to do with your title, "making" it "seem like" this study is false and is siding with Google to make the others look bad in comparison, when in fact, Google does trash all it's competition with their voice assistant.

9. ssallen

Posts: 193; Member since: Oct 06, 2017

I didn't read the title like that at all. It did seem like it was trying really hard to not name Google until the very bottom of the article though. Meh, its (i)phoneArena what are you gonna do?

16. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Using a term as "making it seem like" sends the idea that they were biased in their test against Alexa and Siri. Trust, these writers knows exactly what words to say when defending Siri. These wouldn't be their choice of words if Siri wasn't included in this test.

13. Subie

Posts: 2366; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I think I'll ask Cortana if this is all true ;)

17. oldskool50

Posts: 1581; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

The comparison is pretty lame and here's why. Siri is a voice assistant designed for IOS. It is limited and restricted only to what Appel decides to program it to be able to do. Siri probably can do many things Google assistant can do, but Google is actually pouring money into their platform to make it better, while Apple is just resting in its laurels. Even Bixby with its ability to handle multiple commands one cones is amazing. Google Assistant has to work awesome and provide its functions, regardless of what platform you use it on, which si what makes it better. It works the same whether you are using a Google device or not.

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