Siri, what is COVID-19? Here is how smart speakers are responding to queries


The entire world has been brought to its knees by Coronavirus and as such, the governments and tech companies are looking for new means to collate and process information in order to help and educate people. Google has already launched a dedicated website, while Microsoft has rolled out a tracker and health-care. Indian government has introduced a WhatsApp chatbot for the same. Now, there is a detailed report on how the smart speakers are responding to queries about the ongoing health-care crisis.

Hence, when people at the Vox asked Alexa a number of questions, including how to get tested for the virus, she suggests information which was sourced from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

This also includes reaching out to the nearest health-care department which will about the availability of the tests and then establishing contact about the same. However, when asked whether users should purchase masks, Alexa asks the symptoms of the illness.

As coronavirus cases escalate users are looking to get information about the ongoing pandemic, tech companies which include Google and Amazon have designed apps (called skills for Amazon Alexa and actions for Google Assistant) related to coronavirus.

Alexa has apps which gives the latest COVID-19 numbers and how to clean hands effectively.

Amazon is taking active measures to remove any voice app which provides misleading information about the recent outbreak. On the other hand, Google has resorted to a more aggressive approach and has limited coronavirus-related actions that users can submit for the Google Assistant.

Siri, on the other hand, has directed users to a bunch of websites which include the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the CDC. Google Assistant, on the other hand,has directed users towards recent news articles about utilising and understanding information.

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