AI arms race

Written by:
Lucie Sadler
Date Posted:
12 January 2018
New Tech

“Alexa, how do we stop Google?”

After 51 years, CES in Las Vegas still manages to pull out some surprises. And no, not just the floods and two hour blackout in the convention centre. AI dominated the show this year, and it was an Amazon v Google showdown.

Google showcase
For the first time in several years Google had its own large, stand alone booth at the show. They also commissioned huge “Hey, Google” advertisements around the city and on the side of public transport. The message was loud and clear – Google want you to get used to interacting with its digital assistant.

So, how do you tap into a market that seems to already be dominated by Amazon’s Alexa?

Amazon v Google
With AI being built into basic household items such as smoke alarms, showers, and bathroom mirrors, the big manufacturers are now siding with their chosen assistant. Amazon’s Alexa seems to be ruling the white goods market, whilst Google Assistant has recently been adopted by two of the biggest TV brands – Sony and LG.

Google are packing a punch. They recently blocked YouTube from Amazon’s Alexa powered Echo Snow, so there goes a huge demographic of millennial video bingers.

Google have also showed impressive superiority with their language support. Alexa has very limited reach outside of the UK and US, whereas Google can tap in to its vast language and translation repository.

“Just ask Amazon Alexa”
Amazon and Google have blown the competition out of the water (Cortana, who?), and it’s now an arms race between the two. At CES it was a running joke to spot the device without the “Just ask Amazon Alexa” sticker, but Google Assistant seems to be only steps behind.

Alexa boasts more ‘skills’ than Google at present, but critics say that it is easier and more ‘natural’ to interact with the Google Assistant. Both tech giants will be fighting for the top spot from now on, so it will be interesting to see the next release of commands and capabilities.

“Alexa, how do we stop Google?”

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