Coronavirus cases around the globe recently crossed the 3 lakh mark. As the COVID-19 cases keep rising, governments and tech companies are looking for new means to disseminate accurate information about the ongoing pandemic. Google has already launched a dedicated website, Microsoft has launched a tracker and health-care and Indian government has introduced a WhatsApp chatbot for the same. Now, a new report details how smart speakers are answering queries about the ongoing health-care crisis.
When folks at the Vox asked Alexa a series of questions, including how to get tested for the virus, she suggests information sourced from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, which includes reaching out to the nearest health-care department about the availability of the tests and contacting the health-care provider for the same. However, when asked whether users should purchase masks, she simply states the symptoms of the illness.
Siri, on the other hand, directs users to a bunch of websites such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the CDC. Meanwhile, Google Assistant on being queried on coronavirus directs users towards recent news articles about the same.
As coronavirus cases mount and users seek information about the ongoing pandemic, tech companies including Google and Amazon have had developers design apps (called skills for Amazon Alexa and actions for Google Assistant) related to coronavirus. Alexa already has apps that tells users the latest COVID-19 numbers and how to clean hands effectively. The company is also taking active measures to remove any voice app that provides misleading information about the recent outbreak. Google, on the other hand, is taking a more aggressive approach and limiting coronavirus-related actions that users can submit for the Google Assistant.