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icoola > blog > Who is better than Siri or Alice: an overview of robotic assistants
03 February 2021

Who is better than Siri or Alice: an overview of robotic assistants

In today's reality, many people are actively using voice control. This feature greatly improves user interaction with the device.

Oksana Gerasimenko

The functionality of voice assistants is only gaining popularity every day. Today, many people actively use voice control and set their alarms using voice commands, rather than manually selecting a function. Nevertheless, a large percentage of users have only heard about the presence of a robot assistant in smartphones, but have not yet decided to use such programs on their gadgets. Most often, the reason is a lack of knowledge on which devices you can use assistants and which assistants are better. Most often, users install themselves Alice or Siri . Let's try to compare their capabilities to determine the best assistant robot.

Development and how much on the market

Siri is a cloud-based personal assistant. It is the property of the American company Apple . The world first heard of her in 2010. She is considered the first robot assistant. The application can process natural speech in order to answer questions of interest and recommend various resources. The assistant will adapt to the individual preferences of the user, as it analyzes all his requests.  

Alisa is a product of the Russian company Yandex. The assistant can also recognize natural speech and simulate dialogue. Also, the voice assistant will be able to answer questions, solve problems posed by the user. For the first time, the world learned about the domestic analogue of Siri in 2017. For three years, more than 45 million users have used the Russian robot assistant.


Devices on which the assistant functions

 Assistant robot "Alice" can function successfully on any gadget. It doesn't matter what operating system is on your laptop or phone. The program works equally well on Windows and Linux , on Android and iOS . However, this type of voice assistant is not installed by default in any operating system and will not be used separately from the Yandex browser.

With regard to Siri , it works on any Apple technology . However, it cannot be used on devices other than iPhone or MacBook . Users of such gadgets often arrange a kind of competition between voice assistants. To do this, you need to install, in addition to Siri, one of the competitors with similar functionality. For example, to activate Alice on the iPhone , you need to give the appropriate command to Siri . You can then send the same request to both assistants.

 Technological differences

Assistant robots work thanks to different technologies. The American Siri Assistant works with the Speech Recognizer . This development helps her not only to recognize the voice, but also to translate speech into twenty different languages. The main disadvantage is that Siri does not always correctly reproduce the request in a language other than English. For example, she has difficulties with the reproduction of the Russian language. For Russian-speaking people, this creates a certain discomfort when using the technology. In difference from of Siri , Alice works with technology SpeechKit , which was originally set up to recognize the Russian language. Therefore, the probability of an error when reproducing a query is practically zero. Moreover, Alice gradually begins to recognize foreign languages, but similar problems arise with reproduction.  


 How do I activate the voice assistant?

To get started with Apple's voice assistant , all you need to do is say "Hello Siri ." Compared to the overseas development, the Russian version can be launched faster. The point is that Alice will respond to other requests, like "Hello, Alice" or "Ok, Alice". In essence, applications start the same way, but they also work by default. Voice calls can be turned on using the settings menu on a running gadget. 

In what questions can virtual assistants help?

1. Create notes         

 Most often, voice assistants are used to create notes or reminders. Users just have to ask Siri or Alice to add a note about an important moment for a certain period of time. This helps you remember about an important meeting or call. The main difference in their functionality is that the American assistant immediately adds these plans to notes. The Russian counterpart can only use the to-do list provided by the manufacturer. Such an application will have to be downloaded separately.

2. Weather forecast information         

 Before going to work, people used to look out the window to determine what the weather was like. Thanks to robotic assistants, you can get this information without getting out of bed. You just have to ask them what the weather is like now. With this request, Siri refers to the application that is installed on the user's smartphone. Alice will guide you to Yandex forecasts, which you can not download, but simply open in your browser. To view the results, you need to ask Alice to open Yandex and click on the summary.

3. Build a route         

 This feature is quite popular. However, there are several disadvantages. The fact is that Siri can only offer you routes for driving by analyzing Apple maps. Alice will be able to build a route not only for a personal car, but also taking into account the possibility of moving by public transport. The biggest problem with such queries is the correctness of speech recognition. Without fully understanding the request, assistants can offer search results by the names of districts or cities, which makes them repeat their requests several times. Many, after several unsuccessful attempts, simply use the maps and plot the route themselves. Therefore, this function requires improvements. 

 4. Data on the traffic situation   

 When driving actively, it is important to understand the current traffic situation. Therefore, users often ask voice assistants to show the busiest road sections. After such requests, Siri can only show very busy areas that appear on Apple maps. Alice can show a general map where city roads will be shown in color. Green color means that the site is not heavily loaded, and red means there are accidents or traffic jams. 

 5. Actual news   

 In the morning, many users read the news. If you turn to Siri with the appropriate request , then Apple's assistant displays a text format. Alice will begin to tell the news from Yandex service aloud. In this case, the Russian assistant robot has an advantage. The only negative is the quality of the information voiced.

 6. Make calls   

 Phones were conceived for making calls. The main difference between Siri and Alice is her ability to make a call. When prompted, Siri detects the contact in your phone directories and starts ringing. This is very useful in a situation where your hands are busy and you feel uncomfortable holding your phone. The Russian counterpart does not have this function.

 7. Launching applications   

 As stated earlier, users often try to arrange a competition between Siri and Alice. To do this, they submit identical requests to assistants and see who will deal with them faster. Most often the result is a draw. Assistants are not very good at recognizing application names. It is especially problematic to launch applications that are not included in the AppStore or Play Market package . Many downloaded games and programs cannot be launched by both robot assistants. 

 8. Answers to questions

 Alice is really better at handling the request in Russian, because this assistant is designed for the needs of the Russian-speaking population. She can sing songs, tell jokes, and even imitate the interlocutor. Users often have the impression that they are communicating not with a robot, but with a living person.

Siri also has similar functionality, but it is very limited. However, the American assistant can memorize commands that are often repeated and outputs subsequent answers with short wording. Alice does not have such a "learning function". Therefore, Apple's voice assistant can be considered smarter .

 9. "Own" point of view

 Alice is much more ironic than Siri , but the American application is more “touchy ”. If you try to ask an uncomfortable question or openly insult Siri , then the application is either removed from the dialogue or "offended". Unlike the American version of the assistant, Alice will answer or even laugh it off. By this parameter, the Russian development will be more pleasant to users.

advantages and disadvantages of assistants

Comparison results

 Despite all the advantages of the Russian development and the presence of shortcomings in the Apple assistant , the victory is still with the last assistant. Yandex representatives have repeatedly promised that their assistant will eventually be more flexible and will be able to perform all tasks no worse than its American counterpart, but the timing of its upgrade has not yet been announced. If users want to communicate more than submit requests, then it is quite comfortable to work with Yandex development. 

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