Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri will get smarter this year. Here's how.

CNET | 6/7/2019 | Megan Wollerton
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Do you have a favorite voice assistant (or smart speaker)? Weigh in below in the comments.

Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri aren't the same smart-home voice assistants they were at launch, or even a few months ago. All three AIs undergo regular updates that set them apart from one another -- and keep the competition interesting for those of us following along at home (and in my case, at work, too).

Google - I/O - Tech - Giant - Developer

Google I/O, the tech giant's annual developer conference took place in May and there was a lot of smart home news. Apple's own yearly conference, WWDC, just happened too. And Amazon's re:MARS conference is currently underway. That makes this a particularly busy time for smart home announcements, particularly related to Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.

Let's explore the most recent changes to get a better sense of each assistant's strengths, as well as where they need the most work -- and what we hope to see in the future.

Amazon - Leader - Home - Space - Echo

Amazon has been a leader in the smart home space ever since it introduced its inaugural Echo speaker back in 2014. Now it has seven smart speakers and smart displays to choose from, powered by Amazon's AI assistant, Alexa. Say "Alexa" to wake your speaker and then start talking. Alexa can help you with directions, order food and even turn on your lights or adjust your thermostat.

Alexa is already a decently strong conversationalist, but it's dependent on its wake word (Alexa) to initiate nearly every new line of conversation. For example, If I say, "Alexa, what's the current temperature at the hallway thermostat?" I'd then have to say, "Alexa" again before requesting that the voice assistant "set the hallway thermostat to 68 degrees."

Course - Alexa - Temperature - Hallway - Thermostat

Of course, it would be much more natural to say, "Alexa, what's the current temperature at the hallway thermostat?"...
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