What are voice assistants?

What are voice assistants?

Voice assistants are software that recognize voice, process language using specialized algorithms, and are able to synthesize voice to listen to specific voice commands and return relevant information or perform specific functions as requested by the user.

Everyday, more and more people are talking about voice assistants but what are exactly voice assistants? Majority are used to devices like the Echo dot or Google Home which has no screen, or maybe the Echo Show or Google Nest with a screen. However, voice assistants are ubiquitous. They are present in every mobile phone; Google Assistant in Android phones, Siri in iPhones, Alexa can also be installed in all mobile phones. And also in every smart TV, cars, some domestic appliances, etc.

Some well known voice assistant devices

What is voice assistant technology?

Under the hood, voice assistants are composed by several components that put together do the magic of taking back to you and holding a conversation. For instance, one of PentaTech voice applications called Super Hero Battle has the following design:

Breaking down responsibilities in different sub-systems allows each component to specialized in what they do best. For instance, the Amazon Alexa service takes care of speech recognition, natural language understanding and text-to-speech; the Alexa Skills Kit allows to build custom made applications like the ones in PentaTech portfolio and finally, a back-end to resolve the application logic.

Voice assistant examples

The top voice assistants are:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Apple Siri
  • Microsoft Cortana
  • Samsung Bixby

These voice assistants can be installed in different devices (or hardware) such as mobile phones, smart speakers, smart TVs, cars, microwaves, basically wherever you want.

Which voice assistant is the best?

As far as 2022, Alexa and Google Assistant have the lead and others catching up. Market is dynamic and all working towards better experiences.

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