Welcome to the wonderful world of technology, where there is an app, tablet or inanimate object that brings joy and convenience to human beings of all walks of life. Each year there is a new “something” to be excited about, whether it’s a watch, phone or car, and everyone wants to be hip and up-to-date on the latest trends.
Amazon’s Alexa, an artificially intelligent personal assistant, was introduced to the world in 2014. “She” was inspired by Star Trek: The Original Series and The Next Generation. And Alexa didn’t disappoint. This fairly new technology resides in smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Spot or Show, and it responds to voice commands allowing for the convenience of home automation, food ordering, messaging and calling, controlling the TV, sports updates and, of course, music. You can wake the system by simply stating “Alexa,” and you can continue by asking a question or giving a command.
However, privacy concerns have risen since 2018 in regard to unsolicited recordings from the device, with several families complaining about conversations being sent to contacts without their knowledge. Amazon responded by stating that the incidents were “human errors.”
Siri, a more familiar artificial intelligence voice, made its presence known in 2011. This virtual assistant can be found in all Apple products, be it an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, HomePod and others. Siri’s capabilities include performing phone actions such as scheduling events in the calendar and reminders, searching the internet and even ride-sharing.
In 2013, Apple introduced a gender option for Siri, and in 2014, the “Hey, Siri” feature was added to enhance the individual voice command. If you’ve ever played around with Siri, you will find that although Siri isn’t a human being, a sense of humor is omnipresent. Try asking Siri’s age and prepare to be astounded by the answer. Despite the many great features that Siri offers, a disadvantage is that Siri won’t work without an active internet connection. Siri relies heavily on cloud computing, which makes it impossible to work offline.
Choosing one particular brand over another can take time, especially because technology is ever-changing. But when it comes to deciding which artificial intelligence you want, you have to weigh the features, disadvantages, advantages and, most importantly, what makes sense for your lifestyle. You may not pick Siri because you don’t own any Apple products, or contrarily, you may not pick Alexa because you are always on the go and need Siri at your leisure.
When purchasing anything, it is always best to do your research. Be sure to compare and contrast so that you are aware of everything a product has to offer. It is better to know exactly what you are buying beforehand than to buy it and end up unhappy with it.
Alexa and Siri are great inventions and offer great features that can be helpful with day-to-day activities. However, picking the one that works best for you is completely your choice.