The market for artificial intelligence-based personal assistants is tricky and competitive. But according to a new study by Ovum, an independent analyst and consultancy firm based in London, Amazon’s Alexa is winning the race. In a statement released to the media, Ovum also added that Google Assistant was also catching up fast and posing a threat to Amazon’s supremacy. The study added that other contenders like Siri, Cortana, and Bixby are lagging far behind, holding competitive advantages for specific use cases.
The study said that in terms of market strategy, Amazon and Google are following each other’s steps. Both companies heavily rely on the support of their ecosystems of partners and developers to enhance functionality and reduce frictions that are impeding progress. “Amazon wants to create a more engaging user experience by offering rich functionality and personalisation features. Meanwhile, Google has focused on expanding Google Assistant’s international reach, providing more language support and localisation features,” said the report.
Ovum’s AI Assistant Tracker: 1H18 provides a dynamic tool to understand the strategy of key market participants in the AI assistant industry, rating the performance of well-known virtual assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Bixby. The benchmark is based on a points system composed of six strategic criteria: skills, language support, user experience, device categories, innovation, and business models.
“At present, Amazon and Google are working to improve the functionality and reach of their virtual assistants to gain ubiquity across different platforms and environments. However, their ambition to gain market ground quickly has transformed the competition into a fight that focuses on which contender has the largest number of skills or capacity to support more languages and third-party smart home devices,” said Mariana Zamoszczyk, senior analyst at Ovum’s Consumer Services team.
She added that each AI-based virtual assistant should focus on polishing the frictions that delay adoption, by developing an engaging experience with useful skills.