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By AYANTI GOSWAMI| February 24, 2021



Hey, Google, what are Noble grapes?

They are the red wine of Bordeaux

Hey Google, Can you order the five noble grapes?

What are these conversations I am having and with whom? Well it is my latest Google Home, my virtual assistant. It can play music, according to my choice, from popular streaming services. It provides answer to my questions, set daily reminders and provides the latest news updates. The best thing is it works with up to 7 users. It includes personalized settings, controls other smart devices at home and supports my native Bengali language also.

So basically our daily life is becoming digital by the latest innovations and technologies. Especially in recent years, more innovative technologies are getting developed to facilitate our professional and everyday life. Due to recent advances in technology, the role of a virtual assistant has become important both at personal and professional lives. These virtual assistants are found in various gadgets such as smart TV, smartphones, tablets and even in smart watches now. In fact, the role of virtual assistant is the market has led to an increasing competition. Big companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple offer a complete digital infrastructure.

How does a virtual assistant software work?

A virtual assistant is a technology based on artificial intelligence. The software performs tasks or services for an individual based on verbal commands. For example, delivering news reports, playing music or movie, setting alarms or timers, making your daily grocery list, providing you with the best cafés or restaurants or checking out flight or train times. It uses a device’s microphone to receive voice commands. It provides the output with a pretty voice through its Wi-Fi controlled speaker or smart speakers. The software works with a combination of different technologies such as voice recognition,

voice analysis and language processing. The smart speakers can recognize the user’s voice from a distance of more than 5 meters.

When a user ask the voice assistant to perform a task, it converts the natural language audio signal into digital data. The software analyzes the data. It compares the data with a database of the software using an algorithm to find a suitable answer for it. This database is located on distributed servers in cloud networks. For this reason, you need a suitable internet connection for the AI assistant to work. With the increasing number of queries, the database of the software gets expanded and optimized. Thus improving the voice recognition and increases the response time of the system.

Best thing about keeping a virtual assistant


If you use the virtual assistant in the right way, it will be a great too for organizing and find new ways to complete your work on time.

Save money on cabs:

You just have to say ‘Hey Google, ask Uber for a ride’, once your default pick-up location is set. Google will help you in hiring a cab, by letting you know about the nearest car and its price. You can change your pick-up location if you need to. It would even let you know if there's surge pricing before you book your ride. Thus it helps you to get the best price possible.

Book flights or trains for you:

My festival Durga Puja is coming soon and I have to be home for the festivities. I just have to say, ‘OK Google, how much are flights to Kolkata?’ This will prompt the speaker to ask a few follow-up questions such as my preferences. After that, I will get an email about prices from Google regarding reasonable Flights. If you have an Alexa-powered device, you can use the travel search engine SkyScanner for bargains.

Setting up reminders: According to your location data, Google can set up reminders based on where you are. For example, if you earlier feed the message “Google, next time I’m at work, remind me to complete the manual and send an email regarding it”. Next time, whenever your phone detects that you’re at work, Google will remind you.

Efficient use of electricity:

If you have a smart home device installed, virtual assistants can control it.  If you have a smart thermostat installed, it will automate the heating and cooling of a home. This would reduce your electricity bill. Also you can control and monitor your connected home devices from smart home apps in your smartphones, or other networked devices.

Security of your home:

You can keep your home safe by connecting your virtual assistant to your smart home security devices such as wireless video cameras and image sensors.

What is bad about it?

Internet Connection:

The first thing that really bothers user that most virtual assistant requires a constant internet connection especially if you use Apple’s Siri. Definitely it requires internet to fetch Google results or map data, but do you really need an internet connection to set your wake-up alarm, make a phone call, or schedule an appointment? Thus causing a major issue with battery life.

Voice recognition is not always perfect:

Although Amazon and Google is the best for voice recognition, it's still not perfect. Thus you have to repeat yourself to make the smart speaker understand your command.

Security can be an issue:

You store your data in cloud which is not at all hacker-proof. You can keep your home WiFi network secure by using strong passwords and regularly check and install software updates.

Bad Signal Strength:

If you live outside of a 4G or 3G network area, your digital assistant may not work well. A good network works well for smart speakers, as it has to be fast and clean for best results. So it won’t go well with the people living in more rural areas and flyover states.



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