The situation that the world is facing in the last hours is nothing short of alarming. All the media focus their attention on this invisible enemy that is reaping thousands of deaths. The public seeks detailed information on the coronavirus, known as Covid19, using traditional media. But what answers do voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri give us about the coronavirus?
TURN TO PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES
Regarding the questions about Coronavirus, Siri answers with a link to the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The voice assistant is not a font of details so it gives us the opportunity to deal with some titles. Google Assistant instead, indicates the CDC to the user’s questions. While Alexa differs from its competitors because it collects the news from the World Health Organization to read it aloud. It informs you on how the coronavirus spreads and the steps to take to protect yourself. It also informs about the functionality of the masks, the importance of washing hands etc.
The interest in the answers on the virus is very evident from users also on Alexa Answers. It is a crowdsourcing platform, that the voice assistant does not know that Amazon created last year.
The inherent questions that users ask mainly concern the spread and mortality rate of the disease. Alexa may still learn the word “coronavirus”, because the actual phrases recorded by the voice assistant include variations such as “carotid virus”, “cordova virus” and “carnivorous virus”.
When the user asks Alexa questions through the smart speaker, the immediate answer we get is that relating to the day on which the coronavirus got named COVID19, reporting all the OMS information starting from January. As for the facts instead, Alexa connects us with the Coronavirus skill created by YuMa-Soft. The skill offers updated information in real time on confirmed cases worldwide. There are currently 9 Alexa skills on Coronavirus or Covid-19.
Medical answers regarding Coronavirus
According to Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report for Healthcare, more than half of consumers would like to use voice assistants on one or more healthcare services. The most popular use was asking about illnesses and symptoms, so people inquiring about the coronavirus is not a surprise. The good news is that Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, when you ask them about coronavirus, seem to be sticking to reliable sources like the CDC and WHO. Therefore, these answers are less likely to suffer the accuracy problems to which publicly edited can be prone.