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Voice assistants: how does it work?

voice assistant is a set of software resources making it possible to perform voice and language processing in order to respond to a user’s request. From satellites and spacecraft, to your smartphone. With a simple voice command, it was now possible to read or dictate an SMS, search the web or launch an application. A real revolution of the time, the voice assistant had a mixed success, however, because its operation was quite uncertain and users were sometimes a little stupid to talk to their device.

They seem to do everything the same as assistants in the phone, but at the same time they fit better into the digital environment of a modern city dweller. But are they really useful? What can they offer today, besides answers about the weather and a quick search on the web?

The intelligent personal assistant or what is known as the voice assistants is one of the artificial intelligence applications that are indispensable in smartphones today. Where experts in this field expect that the number of this type of applications will increase to 21.4 million by the end of 2020, and the number will continue to rise over the next few years. Relying on a smart personal assistant for Google searches has become so popular that large companies have begun dedicating resources to developing SEO applications. In addition, the language used by these applications has become of such high quality that many companies rely on it for important aspects of their marketing and sales operations.

What is the best voice assistant?

For the general public, voice assistants on the market exhibit more or less similar performance, typically with over 80% correct answers. In terms of skills, the Echo smart speaker from Amazon is a little ahead of its competitors with more than 2,600 skills displayed. For its part, Google highlights the extent of knowledge of its voice assistant, with 93% level of comprehension and available in 30 different languages, while Apple’s product primarily appeals to aficionados of the Apple brand.

Voice Assistants

How to optimize its industrial processes with a voice assistant?

More and more publishers are professionalizing voice assistants to meet a BtoB need. For example  Vivoka which adapts its voice assistant to the hotel market or Hellomybot, which offers callbot and voicebot to the insurance and tourism sectors. “To be efficient, Alexa has been trained with billions of conversations around the world. On the other hand, in the industry, we do not have sufficient semantic data to constitute big data.

How do they work and where did they come from

When you make a request, the gadget “hears” only sound waves. Speech synthesis and recognition technologies are used to convert them into information that can be used at work. To begin, the audio signal is cleaned of background noise and interference. Next comes the digitization of data and breaking them into separate fragments for further analysis and comparison with the existing database. At the final stage, the system analyzes the collected probabilities and produces a decoded result, taking into account the language features. In this case, poorly recognized words are restored in meaning using the collected statistics.

If, after processing the request, the voice assistant still does not understand the command, he asks to rephrase the question or provide additional data. Neural networks that help in this process and constantly train the assistant. Allow you to correctly recognize speech, even with an accent, with a probability of more than 90%! But it was not always so.

If the apparatus of the Soviet physicist Lev Myasnikov in 1939 “understood” only a few vowels and consonants, and the mechanism of the Bell laboratory in 1952 could recognize numbers from 1 to 9 by ear, then already in 1962, thanks to the Shoebox technology presented by IBM, it was possible recognize 16 English words, 10 numbers and 6 arithmetic commands. By the 80s, voice systems learned to identify up to 1000 words, while the recognition accuracy reached 80–90%.

In the 21st century, digital giants Microsoft, Google and Apple have entered the race to create speech technologies. So in 2001 Microsoft added voice text input to the Office XP office suite, and in 2002 Google launched Voice Search, a service for voice search on the Internet. In 2007, the SRI International research center began developing Siri, which became the first voice assistant. At that time, she knew how to search for information on the network, work as a voice menu and conduct a simple dialogue with the user.

Google Assistant

It is currently regarded as the most popular voice assistant. In smartphones on Android and smart watches to Wear OS it replaced an earlier version of Google Now voice interface. Also available as an app for iPhone and iPad.

You can use the phrase “OK, Google” to summon the assistant. You can use it to open any website, send messages to WhatsApp and other instant messengers. Find a cafe and map a route to it. check the weather forecast, listen to music, create a shopping list, read recipes aloud, and get news.

The Google Assistant also interacts with smart home devices from many popular brands. As indicated by the “Works with Google Assistant” logo on their packaging. After connecting to such devices, you can control them by voice commands to turn on the light. Control the operation of a vacuum cleaner, thermostat, air conditioner, oven and other smart devices. At the same time, the main disadvantage of the Google Assistant is the lack of integration with social networks and e-mail. But here it is necessary to understand the orientation of the technology to the North American market. There are more services connected to it, and ordering tickets or pizza at home is not a problem.

Through the Google Assistant in India they are very curious to know when is their birthday? They are being regularly searched for this “Mera Birthday Kab hai” ?. There is a website in India called Hindi Advisor who wrote a post for the correct answer to the user’s questions and also gave a Age Calculator Tool in it. If you know Hindi language then you can visit by clicking on the link.

Siri

The first real virtual assistant, not just an interface for simple voice commands. Originally developed for Android and BlackBerry. This programme now works exclusively with Apple devices and is an integral part of them. Thanks to Steve Jobs’ purchase.

In order to activate the voice assistant, you must say the phrase “Hey Siri”. She knows how to make search queries. How to manage smartphone settings and how to work with a map and navigator. You can also send voice messages to a dictated phone number or e-mail, and make calls. Siri can also launch remotely applications, including those controlling smart home systems. You can turn on lights, TV, and regulate the operation of climate control devices. Siri’s obvious downside is that it is only compatible with iOS devices.

Alice

The application is designed for Android and iOS devices. But later, branded columns “Yandex.Station” appeared , as well as children’s smart watches and other equipment with Alice.

It is enough to call Alice by name. Its capabilities include the inclusion of music and video, setting an alarm clock, reminders. It can be also use for reading text, recognizing QR codes, interacting with other Yandex services. A voice assistant can be a good way to keep the conversation going. Help you make a shopping list, or even become your fitness trainer. Alice also knows many different games and fairy tales, which makes her simply irreplaceable when interacting with a children’s audience.

Alice also knows how to interact with smart home systems. In Columbia, perhaps the most actively developing voice assistants in numbers

The firm Juniper estimates the number of users of voice assistants in the world at more than one billion in 2018. A figure in full progression and which should continue to rise in the coming years. The success of Apple (Siri) and Samsung (Bixby) smartphones largely explains the importance of the number of voice assistant users on the planet. If we look at the number of voice assistants installed, all terminals combined, in 2019 we exceed the number of 2.5 billion. In this regard, the main players in the market do not hesitate to engage in a little battle over the numbers. When Amazon boasts of having sold more than 100 million copies of its speakers with Alexa,

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