Amazon Alexa & Google's Assistant are inexcusably terrible at knowing when they're called

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 57
    AI_lias said:
    mac_128 said:
    Yesterday I said to someone, “Hey Susan...” and Siri responded. Susan and I started laughing, and I tried it again, deliberately pronouncing her name so there would be no chance I was souring my speech, and sure enough Siri still responded. this technology has a long way to go..,
    Same thing for "Sarah", for me.
    Biblical roots. 
  • Reply 22 of 57
    with a cost difference of around $200, the Home Pod should be better than the other devices otherwise why pay so much more? Personally, I haven't really experienced anything too wonky with any of my echo devices - mostly when an amazon commercial comes on or watching the South Park but that's more related to the device's location than a flaw in design
  • Reply 23 of 57
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,800member
    I can think of a lot of reasons to NOT put Alexa or Google Assistant in my house, and chiming in unasked is quite low on that list.   

    Those devices will never get a chance to show their stuff in my house, with or without a prompt.  
    mac_dogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 57
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,800member
    Rayz2016 said:
    The unwanted responses get even worse when the TV is going and countless commercials -- especially around the holidays -- keep repeating Alexa's key phrase and causing my speakers to answer questions or play music. This isn't strictly Amazon or Google's fault -- but there needs to be better recognition to prevent this from ever happening again.

    If you're using Alexa's key phrase then it isn't Google's fault, strictly or otherwise, is it?

    Or have I got that wrong?




    I am not sure this is what was meant, but if you take it literally, and Google is responding to the Alexa phrase, that would be Google's fault.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 57
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,470member
    chadbag said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The unwanted responses get even worse when the TV is going and countless commercials -- especially around the holidays -- keep repeating Alexa's key phrase and causing my speakers to answer questions or play music. This isn't strictly Amazon or Google's fault -- but there needs to be better recognition to prevent this from ever happening again.

    If you're using Alexa's key phrase then it isn't Google's fault, strictly or otherwise, is it?

    Or have I got that wrong?




    I am not sure this is what was meant, but if you take it literally, and Google is responding to the Alexa phrase, that would be Google's fault.  
    I doubt one phrase is ever confused for the other... ;)
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 26 of 57
    mobirdmobird Posts: 709member
    Great reading from Apple's own Machine Learning blog.

    Optimizing Siri on HomePod in Far‑Field Settings

    https://machinelearning.apple.com/2018/12/03/optimizing-siri-on-homepod-in-far-field-settings.html

    Hey Siri: An On-device DNN-powered Voice Trigger for Apple’s Personal Assistant

    edited December 2018
  • Reply 27 of 57
    This is the biggest bunch of crap. First off, Siri has lagged so far into third place in the digital assistant "wars" that this article comes off as a desperate Apple fanboy's attempt to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING that Siri is better at. Second off, there will always be false positives with digital assistants. Though I acknowledge that many of the false positives currently occurring can probably be improved, the bottom line is that language itself will always have false positives. Think of how many times you think someone says your name, but it's really another person with the same name in the room? Think of how many commercials say "Hey Alexa . . . ." Regardless, I have a 100% apple automated home, but I still use Alexa for my digital assistant. FIX SIRI!
    edited December 2018 saltyzip
  • Reply 28 of 57
    Personally i’ve had the opposite experience.

    i got landed with a HomePod - unwanted gift to my dad who then dumped it on me. 

    the HomePod went off quite a few times for no reason.

    So I just unplugged it, don’t really see the point in smart speakers at all. Especially the HomePod - goes off randomly and doesn’t do anything useful even when it works.

    Sonos works great from the app. There’s a lot to be said for ‘keep it simple’.

    also i find these stories of things automatically being ordered, paid for etc, entirely by accident tough to believe.
  • Reply 29 of 57
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,553administrator
    This is the biggest bunch of crap. First off, Siri has lagged so far into third place in the digital assistant "wars" that this article comes off as a desperate Apple fanboy's attempt to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING that Siri is better at. Second off, there will always be false positives with digital assistants. Though I acknowledge that many of the false positives currently occurring can probably be improved, the bottom line is that language itself will always have false positives. Think of how many times you think someone says your name, but it's really another person with the same name in the room? Think of how many commercials say "Hey Alexa . . . ." Regardless, I have a 100% apple automated home, but I still use Alexa for my digital assistant. FIX SIRI!
    Read past the headline.

    FTA: "HomePod, on the other hand, has never inserted its opinion unprovoked. Since I can merely speak the phrase "Hey Siri" from across the downstairs and HomePod answers, Apple is clearly doing a much better job of monitoring and verifying those keywords before taking a request. Admittedly, how well it answers is up for debate, but that's a topic for another day.

    What's the point of a smart speaker if it isn't smart enough to understand when we do and don't talk to them? I'm so close to completely disabling Alexa on my other speakers and picking up a second HomePod, even with the high price tag.

    Yes, the HomePod needs quite a bit of love from Apple from a voice interpretation standpoint. Siri lacks requisite smarts for it to truly dominate the competition, and it lacks direct support for other music services without using AirPlay. "
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 57
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,612member
    Chalk me up as someone unbothered by this. We are strictly an Apple household with regards to personal devices, but have Echo Dots and an Echo Spot for smart speakers. Sure, we get false positive maybe one or twice a week (usually when an Amazon commercial is on), but all it does is go "bong" and then the little blue light spins, and then it shuts off. I'm wondering if Amazon has a "don't react" mode in place if it recognizes a portion of a commercial.

    With that being said, my Echos responds to my commands when I ask with a low failure rate. Granted, most of my commands involve telling Alexa things like "turn off outside lights", "turn on Christmas tree", "show front door", "set downstairs to 78 degrees" or asking her to give me weather/news or playing tunes from Amazon Music.

    I don't expect a perfect experience -- and the Echos/Alexa are by no means perfect -- but they definitely get the job done at a reasonable price. 
  • Reply 31 of 57
    D_CMillsD_CMills Posts: 26unconfirmed, member
    mac_128 said:
    Yesterday I said to someone, “Hey Susan...” and Siri responded. Susan and I started laughing, and I tried it again, deliberately pronouncing her name so there would be no chance I was souring my speech, and sure enough Siri still responded. this technology has a long way to go..,
    AI_lias said:
    mac_128 said:
    Yesterday I said to someone, “Hey Susan...” and Siri responded. Susan and I started laughing, and I tried it again, deliberately pronouncing her name so there would be no chance I was souring my speech, and sure enough Siri still responded. this technology has a long way to go..,
    Same thing for "Sarah", for me.

    The lady who voices Siri is named Susan Bennett. I think Siri responding to hey Susan is on purpose, as a bit of an Easter egg.

    Responding to Sara just sounds like it is because Sara and Siri are pretty close and could be hard to distinguish under certain accents.
  • Reply 32 of 57
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,075member
    The Apple ad with Cookie Monster used to trigger my iPad all the time.
  • Reply 33 of 57
    These devices learn your voice and vocal patterns, and continue to adapt (improve?) over time. In households where multiple people try to control the smart speakers, I bet they get very confused, and their precision is dramatically lower.
  • Reply 34 of 57
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,470member
    D_CMills said:
    mac_128 said:
    Yesterday I said to someone, “Hey Susan...” and Siri responded. Susan and I started laughing, and I tried it again, deliberately pronouncing her name so there would be no chance I was souring my speech, and sure enough Siri still responded. this technology has a long way to go..,
    AI_lias said:
    mac_128 said:
    Yesterday I said to someone, “Hey Susan...” and Siri responded. Susan and I started laughing, and I tried it again, deliberately pronouncing her name so there would be no chance I was souring my speech, and sure enough Siri still responded. this technology has a long way to go..,
    Same thing for "Sarah", for me.

    The lady who voices Siri is named Susan Bennett. I think Siri responding to hey Susan is on purpose, as a bit of an Easter egg.

    Responding to Sara just sounds like it is because Sara and Siri are pretty close and could be hard to distinguish under certain accents.
    I can't imagine that Apple would choose the relatively common name "Susan" which is probably heard millions of times in casual conversation as another way to invoke Siri. 
    mazda 3s
  • Reply 35 of 57
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,748member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    eightzero said:
    I decided I wanted to see how these devices work, and was willing to invest a small amount. I got na echo dot for $15. Since I already had one wemo wall switch (it works quite well as a programmable switch for the porch light) I went with a sale on some of the new smart plugs for lamps and a fan. After some fiddling i got the newer devices to also work with Siri. Total investment was about $75.

    I have not yet had Alexa go off unintended, and the system works for my needs. Siri is on my wrist, and interestingly far less reliable. I occasionally look down at my watch and for no reason there is a Siri response unasked. In most other times, I need to repeat myself over and over to get Siri to respond. She know how to turn on the lights about 75% of the time. Siri is much more reliable on my iPhone.

    It was an interesting experiment, and marginally worth the $75 mostly for the novelty. I think I got a coupon for $10 off an Alexa order on Amazon, so that part is nearly free to me. Which is actually about the right price.

    The costs of a HomePod and associated Apple Music (or adding Amazon Music to the dot) are not worth it to me. YMMV. 
    You’re absolutely have to shy away from Home Pod if you cant afford it, stick w the dot....
    Yep. I simply don't value it. 
  • Reply 36 of 57

    In my home, I have more than a few "smart" speakers. Mixing ecosystems with the likes of Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple's Siri.

    So states the author of this article...

    But why??? Why would you NEED or want more than one!!! Why the confusion??

  • Reply 37 of 57
    AI_lias said:
    mac_128 said:
    Yesterday I said to someone, “Hey Susan...” and Siri responded. Susan and I started laughing, and I tried it again, deliberately pronouncing her name so there would be no chance I was souring my speech, and sure enough Siri still responded. this technology has a long way to go..,
    Same thing for "Sarah", for me.
    It almost like having a teenager. 
  • Reply 38 of 57
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,553administrator

    In my home, I have more than a few "smart" speakers. Mixing ecosystems with the likes of Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple's Siri.

    So states the author of this article...

    But why??? Why would you NEED or want more than one!!! Why the confusion??

    Because this is our job.
  • Reply 39 of 57
    BxBorn said:
    with a cost difference of around $200, the Home Pod should be better than the other devices otherwise why pay so much more? Personally, I haven't really experienced anything too wonky with any of my echo devices - mostly when an amazon commercial comes on or watching the South Park but that's more related to the device's location than a flaw in design
    But those videos with the Alexa laughing for no reason is still unnerving. 
  • Reply 40 of 57
    D_CMills said:
    mac_128 said:
    Yesterday I said to someone, “Hey Susan...” and Siri responded. Susan and I started laughing, and I tried it again, deliberately pronouncing her name so there would be no chance I was souring my speech, and sure enough Siri still responded. this technology has a long way to go..,
    AI_lias said:
    mac_128 said:
    Yesterday I said to someone, “Hey Susan...” and Siri responded. Susan and I started laughing, and I tried it again, deliberately pronouncing her name so there would be no chance I was souring my speech, and sure enough Siri still responded. this technology has a long way to go..,
    Same thing for "Sarah", for me.

    The lady who voices Siri is named Susan Bennett. I think Siri responding to hey Susan is on purpose, as a bit of an Easter egg.

    Responding to Sara just sounds like it is because Sara and Siri are pretty close and could be hard to distinguish under certain accents.
    I think this can be fixed by Apple, because Siri correctly transcribes "Hey, Sarah", or pulls up my contacts named "Sarah...". Similarly, if you say "Hey, Sero", it transcribes it on the screen "Hey, Sero" and tells me I don't have an app called "Sero". So then, if it knows it's not Siri, why does it respond? Maybe there's something about the triggering process that I don't know. where trigger words are processed differently than what it transcribes on the screen. With a Sarah in the house, my Siri constantly triggers, if the phone is close to me.
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