Ovum: Amazon’s Alexa leading in the AI assistant market

SP&T Staff
Tuesday August 21, 2018
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Ovum: Amazon’s Alexa leading in the AI assistant market
Courtesy Ovum
According to a report from Ovum, AI Assistant Tracker: 1H18, Amazon’s Alexa is leading in the AI assistant market, but Google Assistant is catching up and poses a threat.

Other players such as Siri, Cortana and Bixby are behind, holding competitive advantages for specific cases, but with low chances of leading the market compared to Alexa and Google Assistant’s growing functionality and interoperability with third-party devices in the smart home.

Both Amazon and Google heavily rely on the support of their ecosystems of partners and developers to enhance functionality when it comes to marketing their AI assistants.

According to Ovum, Amazon wants to create a more engaging user experience by offering rich functionality and personalization features, while Google has focused on expanding Google Assistant’s international reach, providing more language support and localization features.  

Ovum’s AI Assistant Tracker: 1H18 rates the performance of virtual assistants, based on a points system composed of six criteria: skills, language support, user experience, device categories, innovation and business models (see image).

According to Mariana Zamoszczyk, senior analyst in Ovum’s consumer services team, Amazon and Google are focusing on which contender has the largest number of skills or capacity to support more languages and third-party smart home devices.

“Instead, each player should focus on polishing the frictions that delay adoption, developing a truly engaging experience with useful skills — not worrying about the amount of tasks an assistant can perform, but rather concentrating on the quality of the skills that pass the certification process,” said Zamoszczyk.

“It is early days to declare an absolute winner in the AI assistant race,” Zamoszczyk continued. “In the meantime, the battle will intensify, focusing not only on the details, but also looking at the big picture that is to create the best user experience as possible and sustain it over time as AI matures.” Ovum

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