Siri and Pixel's Google Assistant Compete Side-by-Side in New Video

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Google's Pixel phones are the first official devices with Google Assistant, its machine learning AI and assistant, built directly into it. The company wants Google Assistant to be "your own personal Google," performing basic tasks for a user, carrying on conversations, and performing search queries. YouTuber Marques Brownlee decided to test the new Google Assistant by putting it into a head-to-head competition with the latest version of Siri, running on an iPhone 7 Plus.

    In the video, Brownlee puts both devices side-by-side and activates them at the same time. He gives them a series of queries and commands, testing how each one responds. Brownlee starts with simpler tasks, like checking the weather, completing math equations, opening apps, and setting timers. He then moves into slightly more advanced queries, like asking what time the post office closes, Tesla's stock prices, and who the President of the United States is.

    After figuring out who the president is, Brownlee asked both assistants how tall he is. Google Assistant was able to figure out who President Barack Obama was and how tall he is, while Siri had to resort to a Bing search. When asked how tall Obama was, Siri stumbled, searching for how tall the United States is. Brownlee soon asks how tall Obama is to both assistants more directly, and both answer the query with no problems.

    Next, he once again tries to carry on a contextual conversation with the assistants. While Google Assistant could identify who won the Super Bowl and the team's current quarterback, Siri struggled to connect the two queries. However, when asked whether the Los Angeles Clippers won, Siri listed the most recent Clippers game, a preseason game, while Google Assistant listed a game from last season. Google Assistant also stumbled while trying to identify a song that was playing.

    Brownlee then asks a series of contextual questions about the city of Kathmandu and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Siri was able to keep up with Google Assistant, understanding context and linking together multiple queries, despite initially hearing "Zuckerberg" as "Sucker berg."

    The video concludes with Brownlee trying to talk to both Siri and Google Assistant, asking how they are and whether they can make him a sandwich, tell him a joke, and more. Surprisingly, Google Assistant was more personable, joking around with Brownlee.

    Brownlee found that Google Assistant felt more personable than Siri, understanding context better and able to joke around a little more. However, he felt that Siri provided him more information, using graphs and visual information. Siri, he said, presented him the info he needed and got out of the way, while Google Assistant was more talkative, reading the information out to him rather than relying on visual cues.

    Apple has continually been improving Siri over the years, adding new functions and opening it up to third-party applications. In August, Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller explained that new machine learning techniques had cut Siri's error rate by half. Recent rumors have suggested Apple is aiming to improve Siri's functionality further for inclusion in an Amazon Echo-like smart home device. Apple has been hiring employees for its machine learning and AI divisions and acquired machine learning startups Turi and Tuplejump in recent months in an effort to improve Siri.

    Article Link: Siri and Pixel's Google Assistant Compete Side-by-Side in New Video
  2. Relentless Power, Oct 21, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Siri referring to Zuckerberg as "Sucker Berg" had me laughing hysterically.

    Google Assistant is something I do envy and wish my iPhone 7 could achieve. It's better than Siri on many levels. Siri does other things well with tasking and notifications, however; requires improvements in dictation and deciphering.
  3. jdillings macrumors 68000

    Jun 21, 2015
    ROFL at Google Assistant giving the score for a Blazers game from last season.
  4. Dreamer2go macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Clearly Siri is behind, but I wouldn't say it's "far better".
    The NBA score is already one example that Siri does better.
  5. kingofwale macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    let's be fair, nobody gives a damn about pre-season.
  6. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Phoenix, USA
    Should of tested in Airplane mode or with bad reception.
  7. Relentless Power, Oct 21, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Siri struggles with deciphering and dictation for simple terms like defining a word. And Google assistant can produce a definition and understand in a faster manner, then yes, it's in my opinion that Google Assistsnt is better in various area's. And NBA score does not compare in terms of the capabilities of what else Google assistant and Siri can offer. Siri excels in multitasking when it comes to schedules, calendar events, messages, emails, and/or applying general settings, but beyond that, I'm not fairly confident with Siri in various task. And I used Siri extensively, nor an I bashing it.
  8. Nevaborn macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2013
    Tbh that was much closer than I thought it would be.

    Siri definitely presents information in FAR better way than Google Assistant does. Always been one of the best points of Siri. Also Siri was faster at getting some of the information than Google Assistant including the photos.

    However... Google Assistant is still better. While I am astounded Siri managed to do conversational questioning it was a struggle and sporadic in it's results. This needs hugely overhauling.

    The biggest issue though is the fact 90% of the time if it is not a phone task Siri has no clue and will just direct you to the web. That is useless. Here in the UK the information it has is outdated and often can't be found at all.
  9. Soccertess macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2005
    All I get when I ask Siri is.. This is what I found on the web, and it's never accurate.

    I wish we could fire siri and use Google assistant or google now! When I use google now on my friends phone, it just seems to work so much better and understand me a lot better.

    I guess i'll go back to dreaming that maybe one day Siri and Tim will go!
  10. Hanzu Lao Suspended

    Hanzu Lao

    Aug 24, 2016
    I'd say without data mining and privacy invasion Siri is ahead. By a lot.
  11. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Ha ha "Sucker berg"!

    Although it's the Facebook users who are the suckers, I guess - Sucker Berg is laughing all the way to the bank.
  12. BlackSmp macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007
    Well, just try with some other language than English and outside of USA and compare the results... That is a completely different game all-together
  13. Daku93 macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2010
    What Siri reads out loud greatly depends on how you invoke it.

    When you hold the home button and ask something, Siri will often only display results, as it assumes that you are holding your device in your hand and are looking at it. If you say "Hey Siri", with the Display turned off before, Siri will read out more of what it has found, as it assumes, you are not looking at the screen.
  14. ipedro, Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016

    ipedro macrumors 601


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    This comes across to me as though Marques uses Android as his daily phone and knows what to expect from it and hopes that Siri will give him the same result, and not the other way around. For example, he either doesn't know or purposefully omitted that you can ask Siri for "my pictures of cats" and she will show you your own pictures of cats, rather than generic pictures of cats.

    He also persisted on asking a contextual follow up question when Siri clearly missed the original question. Of course she's not going to know the follow up. For the record, she understood the same exact question when I asked "How tall is Barack Obama" and unlimited follow ups like "where was he born", "how old is he", etc etc etc... Siri also understood "Mark Zuckerberg" the first time I asked.

    I was impressed that Siri was consistently faster at answering questions than Google Assistant and I appreciated the presentation of the answers in a well designed card instead of the small busy copy in Google's responses.

    Finally, another one of his criticisms was that Siri presents visual information rather than read it out. Again, his ignorance of iOS is showing. Siri will read information to you when she thinks that you're doing an activity where you're not looking at the screen. For example, when summoning Siri with "Hey Siri", she will read you the answer. If you call her up by pressing the headphone mic button, she'll present information audibly. But when you're pressing the home button to bring up Siri, she correctly assumes that you have the iPhone in front of you and gives you visual information.

    Either Brownlee is showing favouritism in his comparisons or he needs to learn more about iOS if he wants to remain credible.
  15. Sefstah macrumors 6502a

    Dec 21, 2015
    You see those ads in Safari on iOS/MacOS? Do you think they appeal to you by accident? Dont be naive to think Apple doesn't data mine. Also, it's not necessarily a bad thing.
  16. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    What ads?
  17. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Awaiting a Mossberg article about how dumb Assistant is.
  18. Hanzu Lao Suspended

    Hanzu Lao

    Aug 24, 2016
    Don't see any ads.
  19. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Siri is behind by a margin for my use cases
    --- Post Merged, Oct 22, 2016 ---
    What is your understanding of data mining and privacy invasion of your personal data
  20. djgamble macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2006
    Siri... a feature I'll never use. Oh and when I frigging disable it (because trying to unlock my iPhone does so 50% of the time after updating to iOS 10) I get this stupid 'voice assistant' feature (that can't be disabled).

    Seriously... why would I want to speak to my phone... WHY?!?
  21. Hanzu Lao Suspended

    Hanzu Lao

    Aug 24, 2016
    When you search for something on google and then hour later start seeing ads everywhere based on your search. Also read the terms of use for any of goole services.
  22. Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015
    Even a "kid", a Android fan like MKBHD could make a better "piece" than Walt has-been Mossberg.
  23. hagar, Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016

    hagar macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    one point were Siri is terrible is giving driving directions. I recently switched to Dutch Siri so I'm not sure that's why she is dumber than ever. But this is what I got when asking directions to one of the biggest amusement parks in Belgium (Walibi Belgium, it was Six Flags Belgium for a while):

    - I ask driving directions to Walibi and she sends me to the train station of that town instead.
    - So, I look up on Apple Maps how the exact name of the park is. Apparently it's Walibi BELGIUM. But asking directions that way again gets me to the train station.
    - Then I ask directions to "Amusement park walibi" and she answers she doesn't know any places by that name.
    - Just before I want to throw my iPhone out of the car, I try "Amusement park walibi belgium" and she sends me to... Spark of Divine, a Naturopathic shop in Florida, US. on the other site of the Atlantic Ocean.
    - But... when I ask driving directions to a particular ride inside the park (rollercoaster Vampire), she does it flawlessly!

    Is she kidding me???

    Also, can we report such horrible experiences to Apple? Filing out a Bug Report seems too much. Using Apple Maps "Report Issues" doesn't seem to deal with Siri. So how can we let Apple know about this?
  24. miknos Suspended


    Mar 14, 2008
    Never expected Siri to be that good. I was expecting to be waaaaaay worse than Googles' assistant.
  25. zahuh macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2004
    Siri did much better than I thought! In fact, better in many ways - UI, faster at times, answered a couple questions google couldn't. And combined with Apple's strict privacy policy, I feel safer using Siri. Well done Apple.

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