TechAltar is a good YouTube channel for anyone with a keen interest in tech from a European and Windows-sympathetic standpoint - and the latest video, embedded below, looks at comparing the 'new' Google Assistant with Cortana, i.e. on Android and Windows 10 Mobile. I put 'new' in quotes because Assistant isn't much more than the old Google Now system, facelifted into a more conversational form. Which voice assistant wins? Actually neither, with anything tricky messed up by both and with anything easy not really offering anything more than a direct query might have evoked. Martin, the tester, noted that unless you're driving and absolutely need the hands-free facility, is much quicker and more accurate to enter the relevant text yourself. Oh well, this is all in its relevant infancy, I think. It will keep getting better.
Nicely done, with a focus on international real names that is perfect for catching these assistants out.
So, I say that voice assistance is in its 'infancy' - on a scale of 10, where the maximum is Star Trek style natural language AI, I'd rate the current options: Cortana, Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon's Alexa, as all being down at around 2/10. Showing just how far there is to go. In my last hands-on test, I showed how the limiting factor for all of these systems wasn't the voice recognition but the parsing AI on the servers. In otherwise, Microsoft and the other companies can keep on upgrading things at their end and the responses for use users will just keep on getting smarter, year by year.