They may live in our smartphones, but just how “smart” are Siri, Cortana, and other digital voice assistants? Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences used human IQ tests to find out.
The results of their study were published this September and ranked the 2016 edition of Google’s generically-named “Assistant” at the head of the class with an estimated IQ of 47.28. Baidu’s Dumi came in second at 32.92, edging Microsoft’s Cortana (31.98). Surprisingly, Apple’s Siri trailed the pack with an estimated IQ of just 23.94.
Average human adult IQ scores range from 85-115. None of the voice assistants managed to reach the level of a six-year-old human child (55.5). Are these AI-powered helpers actually a whole lot dumber than we thought?
In recent years, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants have invested heavily in speech and image recognition, accelerating the development of artificial intelligence. And the technologies have begun to pay off, with AI systems eclipsing human performance levels in many specific tasks. But directly comparing machine and human intelligence remains problematic.
The path to artificial intelligence is a long one. The IQ study researchers noted that each company’s products had become significantly more intelligent since their last test – in 2014, Google’s AI Assistant scored just 26.5, with Cortana logging a dunce-cap worthy 13.5.
Clearly, digital voice assistants are wising up — how long until they catch up?
Journalist: Zenan Li | Localization: Michael Sarazen