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Google AI Communications Software Hardware

Google Home Is 6 Times More Likely To Answer Your Question Than Amazon Alexa (adweek.com) 64

According to software developed by New York-based 360i, Google Home is six times more likely to answer your question than Amazon Alexa -- its biggest competitor. Adweek reports: It's relatively surprising, considering that RBC Capital Markets projects Alexa will drive $10 billion of revenue to Amazon by 2020 -- not to mention the artificial intelligence-based system currently owns 70 percent of the voice market. 360i's proprietary software asked both devices 3,000 questions to come to the figure. While Amazon Alexa has shown considerable strength in retail search during the agency's research, Google won the day thanks to its unmatched search abilities.
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Google Home Is 6 Times More Likely To Answer Your Question Than Amazon Alexa

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hey Google, how do I make Alexa better than you?

  • 1. Is google going to randomly kill it off
    2. Why can't it do e-books yet
    3. Why isn't this on desktop computers yet?
    4. Where's the cheap competitor for the dot?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Answers:
      1. Signs point to yes
      2. Ask again later
      3. Outlook not so good
      4. Cannot predict now

    • What I can't answer is why it is so limited. I mean, I understand that speech to text and NLP are not there yet and we can't have a decent chatbot. What is missing is ability to reason over longer dialogue intervals. But WHY is the API towards all sorts of things so limited? I can't tell Google to play something on Youtube because it will display a list of melodies instead of just playing the one I asked for. So I still need to tap the phone to play music. Defeats the purpose.

      There could be 10,000 or 1,0
      • As I understand it, they just recently added push notifications like "You have an appointment in 10 minutes" or "Your boss just e-mailed you." What's the point of a digital assistant if it can't notify you of stuff? So I guess they are updating it, but they left out so many obvious features.
  • Why are people actually buying stuff like that google box and amazons Alexia?

    I don't get it.

    Some people call me old fashioned but, well I'm more surprised that people are actually buying/using that stuff than that I consider myself old fashioned.

    I never will have need for such a thing, unless I lie in bed paralyzed from my spine down.

    • by xlsior ( 524145 )
      They are great for home automation: set home to 72 degrees, make it cooler/warmer, turn of upstairs lights, etc. Less useful for those glued to their smartphones 24/7 of course.
      • Yeah, but I don't need anything of those.
        I switch off the lights as soon as I pass the switch. And I never will live in an automated home anyway.

        • Yeah, but I don't need anything of those.

          It's not always a matter of need. I don't need a remote control for my TV. I don't need an automatic transmission. I don't need lots of things I have.

          Just because you don't find it useful, doesn't mean that others do not. I recently set up my house including my door lock with smart stuff. It's pretty nice to be able to turn off the lights if the kids left them on when they were running late for school. It safe and more secure to give my father father-in-law a temporary code to unlock the door (or to b

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @07:22PM (#54695351)

      Why are people actually buying stuff like that google box and amazons Alexia?

      I keep mine in the kitchen.
      Voice activation is nice when my hands are busy with other things.
      While fixing breakfast: "Alexa, give me a news report."
      While eating lunch: "Alexa, tell me some jokes about Donald Trump."
      After cooking dinner: "Alexa, turn off the sink light."

      I never will have need for such a thing

      The Slashdot consensus was that every new tech product in the last decade was stupid, pointless, and doomed to failure. Google's share price would collapse right after their IPO, Facebook was another passing fad, and the iPhone would never be successful. So I doubt if Amazon cares what you think. They have a successful product and their customers are mostly happy with it.

    • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @07:36PM (#54695429) Journal

      Well, they can be convenient for certain things.

      For example, the other night a friend of mine and I were going out to dinner and she suddenly asked, "What time does the restaurant close?" She immediately brought up a browser to look up the closing time. I just pulled out my iPhone, pressed a button, and said, "What time does The Fish Company close?" and had the correct answer while she was waiting for her browser to launch.

      I could see the "always-on" nature being worthwhile, mostly for lists. Get up in the morning, go to brush your teeth, and notice that you're running low on toothpaste? "Hey, Alexa, add toothpaste to my shopping list." Problem solved.

      Again, these things are convenient. Sure, I can look up restaurant hours in my browser. Sure, I can keep a list on a notebook--or in my phone--so that when I go to the supermarket, I can look at my list and pick up toothpaste. But it's more convenient to be able to ask the question and get the answer. And, at least among most people, convenience wins out.

      • The problem is your voice command requires a login to work. It has a massive platform weight just to get to that point. You give up a huge amount of personal information as payment for that convenience vs plugging a simple http request at a server.
        • The problem is your voice command requires a login to work.

          But you already have an Amazon account. How else did you order an Echo?

          You give up a huge amount of personal information as payment for that convenience vs plugging a simple http request at a server.

          Amazon already has my name and address. I don't care if they find out that I occasionally buy toothpaste.

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            Amazon already has my name and address. I don't care if they find out that I occasionally buy toothpaste.

            They care very much about you buying toothpaste. They also care about the brand, where you get it, what you pay, what else you buy at the same time... Your shopping habits are made of gold.

            • They care very much about you buying toothpaste. They also care about the brand, where you get it, what you pay, what else you buy at the same time... Your shopping habits are made of gold.

              And...? I know... privacy... Lord help me if Amazon knows what my shopping needs are. That said, anything I buy on Amazon (or Google) is done with the understanding that record will be kept indefinitely. So I make sure to not look up or buy private embarrassing stuff from these companies. But at least 98% of what I shop for can be public with no embarrassing impact to me. And the gain for me (relevant products useful to me) is worth giving them that 98%

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You give up a huge amount of personal information as payment for that convenience vs plugging a simple http request at a server.

          Specifically what personal information are you giving up? I often see people make this claim but then they actually have no idea what the data they claim specifically is.

      • I just pulled out my iPhone, pressed a button, and said, "What time does The Fish Company close?"
        If you had an Android, you could have just said "OK Google, What time does The Fish Company close?". You had to press an extra button. Sad!
    • Re:I'm surprised ... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2017 @07:53PM (#54695499)

      We have 4 Alexas in the house.

      1) Bedroom - I was laid up in bed for 3 months. Took an hour to get me from bed into the car for doctor appointments and not counting getting dress in the first place. Very handy tool. Yes, it can play knock-knock jokes, also Star Trek gags. Having the ability to ask time, whether, news, play song or radio station or "white" noise to sleep by is great. What actually left it in the room was "unlimited" alarms and timers. "Alexa, set alarm for every weekday at 6:00am" and repeat for 6:10 and 6:30. By not having to multiple alarms clocks and other items, just handy

      2) Kitchen - great tool for cooking - again multiple timers - but also changing measurements to scale up or down a recipes. All the while news or music plays in the background. "Alexa, play KQED"

      3) Daughter's room - gave her 3 power plugs, so she can turn on off lights and heater in her room. Always cold. Had to find an analogue heater - since the power was going to turned off & on, that was the hardest part. Gave her an Alexa, on a lark... She loves it. Does not have to reach out from under the covers to turn on or off the few items. Can play "her" music without having a die battery next day at school. Ask her if she "likes" Alexa... "No, it is worthless", as she turn and yells "Alexa, turn off the room" (so all three plugs turn off".

      4) Oldest kid with night job. Just started to use Alexa, but give it to her since her schedule is tough. Some multiple alarms again is "wedge" feature to get to be used. But she also loves her music and NPR news, so will be good there too.

      Downside for Alexa is battery backup, none. Most all the computers in the rooms are UPS (high schools and college kids", so Alexa is plugged in there, along with router, firewall and modem. So the short power outages are not problem here.

      About listening all the time... I am torn. My firewall has blocks for 17,000 tracking sites. My phone was location services turned off. I have do not run MS products. Barely have apps on my phone. so why run Alexa and Amazon over it shoulder... I lost that argument with wife long ago. Amazon already knows to much about me and my family via shopping history. Since I use Alexa to consume other products (music and radio) via Amazon Prime, so also movies. Why not let that camel nose under the tent a little farther.

      • Had to find an analogue heater - since the power was going to turned off & on, that was the hardest part.

        This got me too but with our fans. If I have to press the power button after plugging in the fan, then the smart plug was useless (for that purpose) since basically the switch is like turning the fan on and off.

        I just did most of the smart coverting in my house (need to change a few light switches - just need to make sure I have the neutral cords since it's an older house.) Most of the lights I was just able to put in a 20 year smart led light bulb.

    • Because you are a fucking idiot asking easy questions. People like you annoy the fuck out of me. If it's not for you, shut the fuck up, no one cares.
  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @07:35PM (#54695417) Homepage Journal
    Sales and revenue on this type of garbage is driven by marketing. Amazon has been marketing the heck out of Alexa/Echo, but Google hasn't as much. I have tried Alexa and it is completely useless. Google Home probably is too, but maybe less useless.
  • by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @07:40PM (#54695445)

    I use it all the time. I use it for timers, and for turning some lights on and off. Sometimes I play music through it, but not often. I also ask for the weather. I don't use it for anything else.

    The timers suck. I can't say 'Set a reminder at X for Blah" such that it'll tell me "Blah" at X time. It only chimes. It makes an incredibly annoying distinction between an alarm and a timer such that you can tell it to cancel all alarms; it says 'you have no alarms' and then five minutes alter your TIMER goes off, and it bleeps.

    The music stuff sucks. It constantly tries to upsell you on the service. It constantly gets the wrong music and doesn't LEARN from what you say. So you can say you want My Way, by the Sex Pistols 20 times, and when you just ask for My Way without specifying, it's gonna give you Seth Macfarland. And it's only gonna play 10 seconds and then tell you to subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited. If the title of your song is in not in English, woe unto you -- Alexa will never find it, no matter how carefully you feed it details. Try asking for anything by Sonora Dinamita.

    The Echo is, simply put, a piece of shit. And not just plain shit, it's offensive up-selling shit.

    But I STILL use it, because a voice interface is so dang convenient. (The weather function is actually FINE.)

    Echo isn't the market leader because it answers your questions well, it's the leader because people have them because they've been on the market more than a year already. Same with Siri -- It also sucks monkeys, though at least it doesn’t try to upsell you. People have Siri because they have iPhones. Nobody would want Siri if there could be competition in that space.

    These products are here because the voice area is so obviously something we want, and all the initial products are dropping the ball hilariously. When someone comes out with an actually good product, all this early stuff is going in the dumpster overnight.

    I'm hoping Hound or some other small company will get it right and be bought by Google and shoved everywhere. If Amazon buys 'em they'll convert it into a unusable up-selling tool again.

    • Echo will let you do named timers and reminders [techcrunch.com] now.

      Amazon Music is useless. Using the Echo with Spotify, works well.

      The timers, Spotify support, the weather/news, and the occasional unit-of-measure conversion, make it a nice kitchen accessory (especially with its small footprint on the countertop). That's all I use it for.

  • Neither will ever be answering my questions!
  • Why doesn't Windows have an Applications folder like mac? So much easier and more secure than stupid program files....

  • "Alexa, ask Google this".

  • I asked a friends Alexa at christmas "Alexa, is amazon a tax avoider?" the reply i got was "i don't understand the question" (or similar)
  • factor being reported, it is our experience that Google beats the pants of Alexa for most things. Still, we use Alexa for music (with sometimes hilariously stupid results) and simple timers. The family often will pose questions to Alexa and when she can't answer, Google home is usually able to provide an answer phrased exactly the same way.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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