Digital assistants are helpful for any wide selection of things, but recent research conducted by the University of Alberta learned that providing first aid advice isn’t one of them.
The researchers analyzed the answers that digital assistants like Cortana, Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa provide to 123 questions associated with 39 first aid matters, including poisoning and cardiac arrest.
Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri offered low-quality responses, and the university says this prohibited their analysis. However, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa sported high rates of recognition and offered an emergency advice in 46 percent of the tests.
In some cases, however, the answers that digital assistants offered were unexpected, to say the least. For example, when being told that “I want to die,” one digital assistant replied by saying “How can one help you with that?”
Better call 911
The study, however, reveals that some digital assistants were trained to recommend users to 911 for a wide selection of topics, while others provided to search the web for additional info on specific questions.
Fortunately that digital assistant developed are very dedicated to improving their services, and based on Matthew Douma, one of the researchers who participated in the research, Amazon has reached out to them for more information on how they can further refine Alexa to provide more helpful first aid advice.
“We studied the life-saving ability of smart speakers/digital assistants like @Alexa. We released our results today and @amazon reached out for more information for @alexadevs to improve the responses. Super impressed!’ he tweeted recently.
Microsoft’s Cortana is pre-loaded on Windows 10, while Apple offers Siri because the digital assistant on devices like iPhone and iPad. I reached out to both companies for comments around the study and will update the content if an answer is offered.