I have an Amazon Echo since yesterday. I tried it a bit and I decided that I will send it back. Not because it always listens and privacy and bla bla bla… Simply because it's stupid.
Alexa is not an AI. Alexa is just voice recognition, combined with a big list of patterns, combined with speech synthesis. The voice recognition and the speech synthesis are really excellent. It's the middle part that disappoints:
Alexa, who was the first US president?The first US president was George Washington.
Alexa, who was the second US president?The second US president was John Adams.
Alexa, which president came after George Washington?Sorry I didn't understand the question I heard.
Alexa, name all US presidents.Sorry I didn't understand the question I heard.
That's the level Alexa is working at. This is like a student that memorized some facts, but never actually understood the topic at all.
My biggest gripe though is that Alexa will not learn from me. When she doesn't know an answer, I can not tell her. When she's assuming a wrong context I can not correct her. There are no conversations.
I will try Google Home when it becomes available in Germany, but I wonder if it will be a better experience…