Popular Science

We pitted digital assistants against each other to find the most useful AI

Alexa vs Siri vs Google Assistant vs Cortana vs Bixby.

Smart assistant apps

Which digital assistant is the smartest?


CES 2018 demonstrated that smart digital assistants are becoming key components of a variety of gadgets. As these AI companions play more of a role in everyday life, every tech company wants an assistant app to call their own. Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, Google has Google Assistant, Microsoft has Cortana, and Samsung has Bixby.

Some of these AIs can help you do everything from looking up train times to controlling a smart home—but it can be hard to keep track of which one can do what. So we downloaded all of the five major assistant apps to put them through their paces, pinpoint their differences, and decide which are the smartest and most capable.

A note before we fire up the apps: Because each of these assistants can respond to thousands of commands, it's hard to do an exhaustive survey of their skills. Instead, we aim to give you a general flavor of what each one is like. Also bear in mind that we were talking to Alexa via an Amazon Echo speaker, so it couldn't display text and graphics alongside its responses like the other assistants—which we tested on Android and iOS phones—did.

General questions

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science3 min readTech
How Mercedes-AMG’s Formula One Hybrid Tech Trickles Down To Road Cars
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport scored its first victory of the Formula One hybrid-electric era at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, with driver Lewis Hamilton. That early system relied on discrete battery pack and power electronics modules that sent e
Popular Science4 min readScience
Dwarf Star Planets Could Glow With Life
Though our cosmic backyard brims with planets, few seem fit for life as we know it. Some do orbit at just the right distance for water to stay liquid, but their hothead young stars tend to douse them with radiation that would quickly snuff out most E
Popular Science7 min read
The Inside Scoop On Charmin’s Fake Poop (and How It Helps Keep Your Butt Clean)
When Charmin offered PopSci an exclusive look at their toilet-paper-testing facilities—including unprecedented access to fake poop—we couldn't say no.