Google's voice assistant more accurate than Alexa, Siri for medication info, study suggests

Hannah Mitchell - Print  | 

Google's voice assistant is better than Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri at understanding medication names when asked by users, but Alexa and Siri are closing the gap, according to a May 19 study published in Frontiers in Digital Health.

The study is a follow-up to a 2019 study in which Google also ranked first place. The updated study shows that all three voice assistants are working toward improving accuracy, according to a May 19 news release on the study.

Five study findings:

  1. The original study used recordings of 46 participants asking for information about the 50 most dispensed drugs in the U.S. The same 46 voice recordings in the 2019 study were tested against Google's voice assistant, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri.

  2. Google voice assistant was accurate 86 percent of the time when discussing medication brand names and 84.3 percent of the time with generic medication. This suggests the software has achieved peak accuracy and the small percentage of issues it encountered could be human error.

  3. Siri came in second place again, reporting 78.4 percent in brand-name accuracy and 75 percent in generic accuracy. This is up from 2019, with 58.5 percent and 51.2 percent respectively.

  4. Alexa ranked third again, with 64.2 percent accuracy in brand names and 66.7 percent accuracy in generic names. This is up from 2019, with 54.6 percent and 45.5 percent, respectively.

  5. There were few differences in accuracy based on a person's accent in the 2021 study. In the previous study, Siri and Alexa were 8-11 percent less accurate if the voice recording had a foreign accent.

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