Virtual Personal Assistants – Pt. 2

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The Virtual Personal Assistant Brands

It is important to note at this point that these VPAs are designed to provide what is known as an “all encompassing” experience for the end user.  In other words, they are not designed to just serve one purpose like Google Maps does, but rather they have been innovated to provide a holistic experience for the end user, once again, in both their personal and professional lives.

Also, as these VPAs are designed to further evolve and grow with the Internet of Things, which will be covered in more detail in a future blog.  So far, here are the major players in the VPA market:

1)      Siri:

This VPA has been developed and implemented by Apple primarily for all of the iPhone devices.  It has also recently been deployed on the Apple TV and Apple Watch as well.  It can engage the end user in meaningful conversations with regards to helping the end user decide upon what the next course of action should be. It greatest strength is that through its Artificial Intelligence algorithms, it can understand human language at a deep level.  Its main drawback is that it cannot interoperate with other mobile apps on the iPhone.  The replacement for Siri is known as “Viv”, and it is purported that it will be able to answer very complex questions which are posed to it by the end user.

2)      Google Now:

This VPA has been designed specifically for the Android Operating System, and is meant to work primarily on the Samsung wireless devices.  It is deemed to be more sophisticated than Siri in terms of the robustness of the mathematical algorithms which are used.  For example, it can harvest through your E-Mail inbox and your Web Browsing history to help the end user in more complex situations.  It keeps detail about your personal information and data, and to a certain degree, it can even communicate with other mobile apps which also reside on the Samsung wireless devices.  In this regard, its higher level of sophistication is also deemed to be its greatest disadvantage, as many end users have complained that it violates their privacy rights.

3)      Microsoft Cortana:

This VPA has been created not only for the Windows 10 Operating System, but for the Windows Mobile devices as well.  Interestingly enough, to a certain degree it can even function on the iOS and Android Operating Systems as well.  Cortana has been designed more to interact with the personal life of the end user, by setting up reminders and other types of calendar appointments, as well as answering general kinds of questions.  Its greatest strengths are that it can interoperate quite effectively with other Windows based mobile apps, and can even function with Skype as well.  Its greatest weakness is that it is much less sophisticated that Siri or Google Now, and in fact, is the least used feature on the Windows 10 Operating System.


Our next blog will examine some of the security issues surrounding Siri and Cortana.