Does Alexa have a personality? Does Siri?
We tend to anthropomorphize objects and it’s impossible not to do so to a device that’s using text-to-speech. We also have a different interpretation of others’ personalities that are likely a reflection of our own.
To me, Siri seems stoic. She doesn’t get too excited, gets to the point. Is serious. Of course, is female.
Alexa seems more cheerful and positive. Likely more excitable.
Google Assistant (maybe less relatable because she doesn’t have a name), is positive but calm.
We’re gearing up for these assistants developing more of a personality. After you’ve heard Alexa sing happy birthday, the illusion that Alexa is not an actual recording of a TTS actress is broken. This also is coming from the interjections that Alexa is releasing.
Google Assistant also sings happy birthday (tried this out today for the first time) but it sounds a little auto-tuned and the addition of music accompaniment takes away from the authenticity. However, with Google’s advances like WaveNet, the TTS is going to be Turing Test worthy in the coming year.
Will our behaviour towards these assistants evolve the more real they sound? That’s just one part. When the latency of the interaction is also reduced, we’ll be more likely to relate to the device. Maybe we’ll need to show an example by saying “please” and “thank you” and not acting rude towards them.