Whenever we see companies like Apple and Google and Amazon demonstrate their digital assistants on stage or in advertisements, they always seem to work so flawlessly. It almost never mishears and always seems to be capable of spitting back results perfectly. However as many users can testify, that’s not always the case in real life.

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In a recent study conducted by The Washington Post, they worked together with two research groups to find out which accents are more “successful” than others when it comes to using Alexa or Google Assistant. The results varied between Google Assistant and Alexa, but the overall results revealed that speakers with accents found it the most difficult to use these digital assistants.

For example they found that the Indian, Chinese, and Spanish accents were some of the more difficult accents to try and understand. According to one researcher Rachael Tatman (who did not participate in this study) who works at the data-science company Kaggle, “I worry we’re getting into a position where these tools are just more useful for some people than others.”

Of course this just highlights how there needs to be more work put into the development of these digital assistants and their capabilities, but for now if you’re a non-native English speaker, don’t be surprised if you have more difficulty getting digital assistants to work the way they should.

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