Why Amazon Alexa voice assistant is shunned by its users ?

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February 14, 2022

The Bloomberg institute raises the question about the actual use of Smart Speakers like Amazon Alexa by American users. The study shows relevant answers for the industrial domain.

Why American customers do not use their voice assistant that much ?

According to the referred study, the American customers claim two main reason for not using their smart voice assistant at the level of expectation of Amazon or any other Google, Apple or Xiaomi.

Amazon views one of the main barriers as concerns about privacy, sparked by revelations that Amazon workers review snippets of audio to help improve its software along with some high-profile blunders, such as an incident in which a person’s device sent recordings of conversations to a contact after misinterpreting a series of phrases as commands. The other hurdle is an even more basic challenge: People simply don’t find Alexa that useful (Bloomberg).

As a summary, it raises two plain issues:

  • the concern about the privacy fo the data manipulated by the assistant
  • the usefulness of such home assistant for the customer.

In this short paper, we will investigate the consequence of this analysis for the industry. If the industry wants to use voice assistants, what are the challenges which need to be resoled ?

Private by design data management

The confidentiality of the data manipulated by the industry is mandatory. When ever a smart voice assistant will be used in the context of industrial production, or integrated in any industrial process, the confidentiality of the data needs to be certified.

It is not possible to have a human, external to the company, listening to the verbal instructions and potentially adapting to the context. This may constitute a clear confidentiality breach unacceptable by the industry.

Therefore, the industry needs voiceAI solutions with the following properties:

  • closed-loop solution, without any external player listening to the conversations
  • embedded or on-premise solutions without any external connection to external cloud
  • intelligent solution based on the available set of data in the industry

Such conditions create challenging conditions for a smart voice assistant to work for the industry.

A voice assistant that provides real services

Another comment is related to the usefulness of a voice assistant at home.

The question is clear: what are the real services given be Amazon Alexa or any other smart assistant at home ? After exploring the weather information, playing music and starting a countdown to kook the eggs, that benefit is quite limited. Users complain about the fact that a voice assistant at home does not provide any real services.

This complain is not really fair actually… Smart voice assistant at home do not provide valuable services, because they are not really integrated with the home. As a consequence, to make again the parallel with the industry, what service needs a voice assistant to provide to be efficient and used ?

A voiceAI solution for the industry needs to focus on the critical tasks from the fieldworker:

  • focus on tasks where people have their eyes and hands occupied at work
  • be integrated with their existing process and IT systems to make real actions (record measurement, acknowledge tasks, …)
  • be connected to the information system of the company to provide real and useful information under request (tork level, reference number, …)

Conclusion

As a conclusion, fieldworkers from the industry are good candidate for an efficient use of voiceAI solutions.

On the shop floor, digital systems are more and more complex and require expertise and time from the fieldworker. The industry constantly looks for more data from its production, inspection, quality management or maintenance processes. How can a voice assistant solve this equation ?

A voiceAI solution, like the pone from SPIX industry can solve the proble, by providing:

With such voice solution, the fieldworker may register his measurement, access to complex information, generate his reports, … all that keeping his hands a eyes free at work.

Access to the Bloomberg document

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