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Welcome to the world of the virtual assistant


With all the hype about our technological world going in the direction of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, it seems a natural progression with the likes of the voice prompted virtual assistant such as Siri and Cortana on our smart devices.

Siri is Apple’s virtual assistant who came out in two thousand and eleven who understands what you ask her and will respond intelligently and can tell a joke that may or may not make you laugh. She is fluent in twenty different languages from English, French, Hebrew, Dutch, Russian and many more.

Cortana is Microsoft’s version of a virtual assistant, and she is actually the voice-over from the actress who played Cortana on the video game Halo. Cortana knows about eight different languages and a few different dialects of English, Spanish, and French.

These virtual assistants can give us any information we ask for like different restaurants to eat at, how to get somewhere, set reminders and setup calendar meetings and appointments to name just a few. By simply speaking to them they will respond with the answer at any given time.

We started out using computers that could only talk in data-driven languages, but now they are almost human like and we treat them as such. It is no wonder we constantly have our faces glued to our smartphones and devices with our precious friend Siri, Cortana and now Alexa right there at our fingertips just waiting to be our friend. What will become of these seemingly human-like phenomenon’s in the future?

Amazon Echo- Alexa

The newest virtual assistant is the Amazon Echo assistant named Alexa. The Echo debuted in the United States in June of two thousand and fifteen. Amazon Echo is a cylinder shaped black device which acts as a pretty good sounding speaker. You can activate Alexa by saying her name or reprogramming to either say Echo or Amazon as the “wake word”.

Echo is continuously listening for the activating wake word which to some may seem a tad bit nosey, especially when thinking about having a private conversation in your home,  but really harmless, though. When you talk to Alexa she is only fluent right now in English, American English to be precise, and will fetch news feeds, pod casts and stream music for you. She can also automatically set reminders and broadcast weather and traffic in real time.

All of these virtual assistants have almost the same capacity of giving you needed information and voice recognition. Alexa is still being debuted in other countries so hopefully Amazon will make her compatible with other languages, and Siri’s jokes to some may seem old and not so funny. All in all when we look at these awesome strides in technology and where they could take us into the future is amazing yet maybe still a bit unsettling.