July 31, 2017 kjubit2017

Buzzword: Virtual Assistants

What are Virtual Assistants?

You probably have heard or read about this term a lot in the past few months. The term has been all over the newspapers and social media. For one good reason, the release of devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

But what are actually virtual assistance and how can they be used? Are they just here for entertainment purposes or do they really help?

The types of virtual assistants

Before we go more into detail about the topic of virtual assistants, we first have to clarify the various types of virtual assistants. As of now, we can differ between the following sorts:

  • Text only – work only with text based interaction
  • Voice – interacts with the user via voice commands
  • Pictures – works with uploading picture detection

It is important to distinguish the various types, because each one of them can be found in different devices or objects.

For instance, an example for text-only would be the Facebook Messenger App with the upcoming trend of Chatbots. Whereas, examples for voice interactions would be Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Siri. Last but not least, the newest member in the family of virtual assistants is picture recognition like Samsung Bixby. But what are they actually good for?

Before, we tackle the question for what wee need virtual assistants, we should take a look back in the past. Already in the early days of computer we had virtual assistants. Maybe you remember one of the first functional ones, Clippy for Microsoft Office. Let’s be honest, back in the days it was the first virtual assistant, who worked and helped you with questions or problems regarding Microsoft Office – if you are interested check out the article from Mashable about brining Clippy back!

Where we are with the answer to our question: Why do we need virtual assistants? Back then and still today, we have problems were we don’t have an answers to. Earlier this century, Clippy from Microsoft Office helped us answering them for Microsoft Office, now virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri and Co. can help us organize our whole days and even more – for further information what Amazon Alexa can do check out our review about it here.

But do we really need this? Well the better question to ask, how advanced is the technology and when can it really assist us in our daily lives. While the technology of virtual assistants is developing, there are still some funny and entertaining parts about it. If you have an iPhone and haven’t asked Siri what zero is divided by zero, you can thank us later. As of now the technology for virtual assistance is developing and getting there.

Is the hype real?

As in our headline, the buzzword of virtual assistants is everywhere, because companies like Amazon and Google are producing devices who can help us in our daily lives. Still, there is a long way ahead for virtual assistants to help and “assist” us in our day to day activities. But in the near future we will get there!

For an even better understanding and see what virtual assistants are capable of check our review concerning Amazon Alexa right here.

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