Market research firm Forrester recently tested the commercial capabilities of voice assistants from Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The researchers asked each voice assistant 180 questions about products and services, like "what brands sell liquid laundry detergent?"
Wednesday, Amazon demonstrated a new model, in which Alexa completes multiple tasks in a single conversation that combines services previously isolated in separate skills. The movie-night planning service will be limited to the US, and to English, but Prasad says Amazon will soon give Alexa the power to multitask in other, unspecified, ways.
Unlike an Amazon Alexa or Google speaker, Jibo can initiate conversations and ask you about your day. SQN Venture Partners, the company that purchased Jibo's assets, has kept the robot's servers running since taking ownership in November, perhaps out of kindness or obligation.
The connections forged between nuggets of knowledge in Wikidata allow computers to answer complex questions in fractions of a second, without having to trawl through multiple web pages or databases.
In September of this year, a report published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research rang the warning bell on virtual assistants, saying that they frequently didn’t understand health-related queries and that nearly 30 percent of the answers provided by the assistants “could cause harm if acted on.” And of course, voice control getting good presents just as many ethical problems as it does moments of ease.
The Terrible Joy of Yelling at Alexa Amazon; Casey Chin I love to scream at robots. Morril had a tendency to scream at Alexa whenever she got things wrong, like thinking he was in Calgary instead of Brooklyn when he asked the weather.
Alexa has gotten smarter, in ways so subtle you might not yet have even noticed.Machine HeadSo-called active learning, in which the system identifies areas in which it needs help from a human expert, has helped substantially cut down on Alexa’s error rates.Those may sound like small tweaks, but cumulatively they represent major progress toward a more conversational voice assistant, one that solves problems rather than introducing new frustrations.
If music and audio quality are your jam, the Sonos One is still the speaker to own, but the Echo Plus isn't bad, especially if you pair it with an Echo Sub ($130).It’s also the best version to buy if you own smart home devices, thanks to its Zigbee support.
You can easily connect two other Sonos speakers for surround sound, or add a Sonos Sub to the mix to deepen those explosions.The Beam isn't the absolute best soundbar on the market, but it's good enough for most living rooms and its compact size makes it usable for many size TVs. If you own a Fire TV, the Beam can play movies and TV shows with voice requests, and will likely gain new abilities when Google Assistant is added.Buy the Beam for $399 from Amazon or Sonos(The Polk Command Bar ($250) is a workable, cheaper alternative)4.