Google Assistant versus Siri

Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have been battling the marketplace for decades. They’re major rivals in the mobile phone industry, with Samsung devices and iPhones pinned up against each other. 

But now comes a new competition: their AI technology. 

Last updated: 3rd Jul 2020 at 3:05pm

Voice control technology has soared in recent years, with many electronic companies developing handy little sidekicks implanted in phones and computers. These voice operating systems serve to make tasks easier, completing things like sending emails, texts, loading the weather, catching up on the news, and answering generic questions. 

In 2018, Loup Ventures conducted a test of the intelligence shown by various AI voices (Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana). 

AI Voice

Answered correctly 

Understood question

Google Assistant

87.9%

100%

Siri

74.6%

99.6%

Comparatively, Google Assistant appears to be more intelligent, with the capability to understand and reciprocate conversational language, though Siri isn’t far behind in its understanding. 

In 2019, Loup Ventures repeated the study on the smart speakers, asking them 800 questions each to evaluate their responses.

AI Voice

Answered correctly 

Understood question

Google Assistant

92.9%

100%

Siri

83.1%

99.8%

While it may be easy to pin these figures against each other and confidently deduce that Google Assistant is a better AI, there are many other factors that could mean Siri is the better choice for you. 

Though Siri may have lower results, Apple confirmed that the AI system was not originally designed to answer trivia questions like the Google Assistant, meaning that its lack of understanding probably stems from incorrect phrasing.

When broken down into categories, Siri actually performed better in understanding commands, proving to be more helpful with phone related activities like texting, calling, emailing, checking the calendar, and playing music. 

So the success of AI assistants is dependent on what you would mostly use them for. If you’re more interested in having a conversation and having your questions answered, Google Assistant has proven to have a higher rate of understanding. However, if you want your AI to perform tasks for you, then Siri seems to have a better grasp of actions.  

The best things each AI assistant can do for you

Google Assistant

  • Humour - you can ask Google Assistant to “tell me a joke” for light-hearted interaction
  • Ultimate cure for boredom - the system will recognise which videos you choose to watch on YouTube, and start recommending future ones for you
  • Gaming - you can ask Google Assistant to play a game with you and they will come up with a number of options for you to pick
  • Give yourself a nickname so your AI refers to you more informally 
  • “I’m hungry” - Google Assistant will recommend a bunch of nearby restaurants and cafes

Siri

  • “Change it” - if Siri doesn’t understand your message, you can simply say “change it” and it will go back to your initial prompt so you can try again
  • Siri is excellent at complex problems, particularly calculating mathematics 
  • Location reminders - Siri can set reminders based on your location, so you can ask your AI to “remind me to call Lucy when I leave work”
  • Remember relationships - you can opt to link a contact’s name to a relationship e.g. James = husband, Tom = son, Jane = boss, and then tell Siri to call your boss instead of dictating their full name
  • Planes above you - Siri can tell you which planes are flying over you at a certain time.

What else to consider

Of course, virtual assistants shouldn’t be your only deciding factor when picking between Android or iOS. You should also consider the battery life, functionality, app availability, and cost before settling on a handset. 

For example, if you’re after a budget phone, you’ll have more choices for Android than you will for Apple.


So what do you want your AI to do for you? Use Google Assistant for a more personal interaction, and Siri for practicality. 

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