Siri Still Behind Google Search On Comprehension & Accuracy

July 2, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Which is the best, Apple’s Siri or Google Search? To measure the abilities of the much-hyped intelligent voice assistant form Apple, a group of researchers led by Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray recently put Siri to a street test.

The team asked 800 questions to Siri in a quiet room without headphones and did the same on a busyMinneapolisstreet with the help of Skull Candy microphone headphones.

Interestingly, the team found that the voice assistant was able to comprehend 89 percent of the questions in the room, and answered with 68 percent accuracy. While on the street the comprehension fell to 83 percent, with an accuracy rate of 62 percent.

However, the accuracy rate was very low compared to the Google’s text input based search function which returned 86 percent accurate answers.

According to the team, Google text based search still stands as an accurate search substitute for Siri, though Google voice search is yet to make it into those levels.

Of the 83 percent of queries Siri could comprehend, 21 percent were answered inaccurately. When it was asked, “Where is Elvis buried?” Siri ended up looking for a person named “Elvis Buried.”.

The team gave an A+ for Google for comprehension while the accuracy grade was B+. But Siri got comparatively bad grades with a B for comprehension and a D for accuracy.

According to the team, Siri on iOS 5 still depends upon Google for 60 percent of its answers, while it is expected to fall to 48 percent in iOS 6. The release is expected in the fall.

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