Is Amazon’s Alexa the new personal assistant?
Many of us have dreamed of having a Jarvis like AI in our home, who could solve our dilemmas with just our voice commands. Such a future is definitely going to take some time to achieve but the foundation has definitely been laid. Turning lights on-off, making a to-do list, changing temperature in your home can now be performed with just one voice command. Be it Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri they have been a blessing in disguise for the AI development. Recently Amazon has forged ahead into the AI market with Alexa, a voice command service.
Alexa is a direct competition to the likes of Google assistant which turns Echo, Dot and Tap audio players into smart home hubs and Internet assistants. Amazon Echo which has been the most popular one of the three had taken the market out by the storm. Simple tasks like hailing a cab, checking the weather forecast, playing a song, checking facts on the internet or it could be an update about traffic all of this could be performed by just asking Alexa. Not long ago, a new version of Echo called Echo Look was introduced by Amazon. The same can be bought on an invite basis.
Now the device itself may seem quite tempting, but is it truly a Personal Assistant that we need?
NEED FOR ECHO
Amazon has definitely launched a device that every geek or tech savvy person would love to get his hands on. It has freed us from having a tonne of apps on our phones to control the devices in our home. To activate Alexa, we could use trigger words like Alexa, Echo, Computer or Amazon followed by our command and voila our tasks would be performed.
Making food in the kitchen all alone can be boring. Now you don’t have to look for your phone and can directly ask Alexa to play you a song. Or if stuck on a recipe you can ask Alexa to help you out. All without the hassle of taking your phone out, typing, searching and then getting an answer.
There are a lot of skills that have already been built in and a number of skills that are added on every week. In addition, we can teach Alexa a new skill and even make it understand our accent.
Built in with very sensitive microphones, you really wouldn’t have to ask Alexa twice. It always listens and has a very quick response.
Alexa is definitely a boon for specially-abled and especially for those who have trouble moving their hands. It helps in performing the daily common tasks with ease and has hence become popular.
The longer you use Alexa, it improves its skill sets and the better it performs. Alexa is also cheap considering the number of tasks it performs. Launched for a broad market it has already sold four million units.
One of the main disadvantages of Echo is the same that makes it stand out and that is its sensitive microphones. Owning two or more of these devices in your home and calling out to Alexa may turn on more than one device. It can become quite frustrating.
Also, Echo has limited information and cannot be expected to give a correct answer to everything or even know the answer to all questions.
One of the major issues with Echo is definitely privacy. The new model of Echo comes with a camera. Therefore the device stays online most of the day and would definitely be posting a privacy issue.
Even Amazon keeps a record of all the tasks we are asking Alexa to perform and may lead to suggestions for items to buy.
Reviews for the device have actually leant more towards the positive side with users actually being impressed with its credibility. A device for showing off, it actually gets the work that we command it to be performed. A number of devices can be connected to Alexa and Amazon is approaching a number of companies to partner up for this device. Hence, it does promise a very bright future.
Alexa, even though has a major privacy issue but it does help in performing everyday tasks without much hard work. Echo has definitely succeeded in being a good personal assistant and with more modern versions coming, we can expect it to be our home’s best friend soon.