Recent Study Finds Google Assistant is Smarter than Amazon's Alexa

A new study from digital marketing agency Stone Temple determined for the second year in a row that the Google Assistant outperforms other assistants in answering questions.
Shelby Rogers

In terms of sales, the Amazon Echo and any smart home device with the promise of Alexa sweeps the field. However, a new study found out that while Alexa might be the most popular assistant around, she might not be the smartest. 

For the second year in a row, digital marketing experts at Stone Temple released the results of its smart speaker quiz. They asked nearly 5,000 questions on five separate devices: Alexa, Cortana Invoke, Google Assistant on Google Home, Google Assistant on a smartphone, and Siri. 

The team also laid out specific parameters for the "contestants" in answering the identical questions. The first would be that the assistant answered the question verbally. The team would then note if the answer was received from a particular database or if it was sourced from a third-party source like Wikipedia. They also counted how often the assistant didn't understand the question, and lastly, they counted every time the device simply got the question wrong. 

Stone Temple did a similar survey last year, and that test had nearly identical parameters for this year in order to compare the growth of digital assistants between years. 


The Stone Temple analysis determined Google Assistant remained the "smartest" digital assistant on the market. Google Assistant attempted the most responses out of all services and got the most responses correct. According to the results, the Assistant actually performed better on a smartphone rather than the Google Home system.


Generally speaking, Amazon's Alexa attempted more questions than she did in the 2017 study. However, she also gets more answers wrong. The team noted that a lot of the errors for both Alexa and Siri came from poorly phrased questions or obscure queries. 

"More than 1/3 of the queries generating incorrect responses in both Alexa and Siri came from such obscure queries," the team noted in its analysis. 


Cortana might be the least known name of the contestants involved in this study. However, the Microsoft-run digital assistant nearly outperformed Google Assistant in several instances including a number of questions answered. 

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Despite being known as the 'original' digital assistant, Siri did not perform as well as her competitors. She attempted more answers this year than last year. However, she still only attempted 40 percent of all queries asked of her. Alexa -- the next lowest in attempts -- outperformed Siri by roughly 17 percent. Siri also fell behind in getting the answers correct, slipping in the correct answers from 2017 to this year.

While Amazon, Apple, and Google have not made any statements to media about the results of the study, Microsoft responded to outlet CNET's questions via email

"We are proud of our continued work on Cortana and we're excited for what the future holds for continued growth, functionality, and availability across devices and platforms," the spokesperson wrote in an email response.

Regardless of which digital assistant has captured the public's attention, Stone Temple's researchers agreed on one thing: "There is no doubt that this space [for digital assistants] is seriously heating up."

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