What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant, as its name suggests, refers to someone who operates administrative tasks such as scheduling meetings, setting up appointments, managing day-to-day personal errands etc., virtually. An artificial intelligence based virtual assistant is called an AI assistant, personal assistant, voice assistant or digital assistant.
How do virtual assistants work?
Virtual assistants are known as passive-listeners. They work in two-way humanlike conversations — first they hear the command and then react as they perceive an order. They mimic as genuine humans by understanding our natural language. The AI-based virtual assistant applications have smart AI features that comprehend the user’s voice and complete tasks accordingly. It is an application program that has stepped out of artificial intelligence technologies and feeds from extensive data from machine learning, virtual reality and speech-recognition platforms.
The virtual assistant needs a sound internet connection to respond to a user’s queries and direct answers via web search. At the point when you speak with a digital assistant by voice, you can trigger the assistant and pose your inquiry. If it couldn’t find or understand your questions, it will tell you. So, then you’d need to retry either by rephrasing your question or by speaking clearer and louder.
There are tons of virtual assistant apps available on PC’s, laptops, tablets and other smart devices. But, some of the popular bets are as follows:
Virtual assistant — features & capabilities
All virtual assistants typically perform the same functions such as the capacity to set schedules, set alarms, phone clone, send messages and emails, schedule meetings and calls, get directions, discover nearby hotels, play music and much more. But, each assistant has additional quirks which make them special in its own way. You can take advantage of the best virtual assistants. Let’s get started.
The tech giant Company Apple launched a voice assistant brainchild with the moniker Siri in 2011. With the continuous update, Siri is now smart enough to remember and learn regular behavioral patterns of its users. You can order Siri to book online flight for you, schedule a meeting, call anyone or even announce a message for you. Apple’s Siri can control smart home appliances and has effortlessly made our life convenient. It can be launched on all Apple devices by simply calling out “Hey Siri”.
Another incredible virtual assistant built by Amazon, which was given the name of Alexa for a speaker made the Echo. Alexa can organize the day for you. It can help you create a shopping list, play music, and manage alarms etc. In addition to all of these typical activities, it is compatible with your alexa-enabled devices. It also permits you to search phone replication apps from amazon store. You order alexa to switch the lights on or play music without lifting your finger. Alexa can also be connected with other products of Amazon; like Amazon Dot and the Tap. The improvement of Alexa makes the challenge extraordinary with Siri.
Google assistant is undisputedly one of the smartest and comprehensive virtual assistants for android smartphones. It was initially launched on Pixel devices only, but now available on all android users. It incorporates a metric ton of features such as pull up reminders for your next event, search for your required information, play videos from YouTube and can even take selfies. Google assistant particularly stands out from the competition.
Microsoft bid an offer to the world of virtual assistants with Cortana in 2014. Windows Phone 8.1 will be the first to use Cortana. This AI assistant made by Microsoft had indistinguishable capabilities just as any other voice assistant has, and worked well on both Android and Apple devices. Everything was perfect until the last quarter of 2019, when Microsoft announced that Cortana will be removed from the stores on 31st January 2020 and will not be available directly through your headsets. The app, however, can be activated by syncing it with Microsoft’s To-Do apps.
Bixby is a personal assistant application by Samsung, launched in 2017. It’s just accessible on Samsung devices. Though new, it’s still outperforms than average. It would search results from the web for you, download applications from Google Play, and amazingly mirror all your mobile content on Samsung Smart TV. We don’t know whether Samsung has any plans to launch it on other platforms. It may be pleasant if they did.
Futuristic avenues for virtual assistants
The first virtual assistant was launched around 9-years ago. The technology has pretty much reformed and is still rapidly developing to elevate features for its users. Albeit, the natural language processing and speech recognition need to be much improved with time. Three to five years from now, we can anticipate the use of virtual assistants in business workflows, bulk transfer large files and corporate settings even more than today. Therefore, it is better as soon as we learn to max out the use of these assistants.
What we can foresee for tomorrow’s AI-based virtual assistants is the improved cognitive-computing technology to comprehend multi-step tasks and perform complex activities efficiently.
What is a virtual assistant?