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Top 10 Best AI Assistants for 2021


With COVID accelerating the rise of digitisation, AI assistants are rapidly becoming indispensable. The numbers of these virtual PAs are set to top 7.5 billion active devices in 2021.


An AI assistant is a software program that uses natural language processing to follow voice commands. They’re getting close to being able to do everything a human assistant can do – take dictation, read text, find phone numbers, make calls, and email meeting reminders and schedules, for example.


They’re usually cloud-based, so you can access them anywhere with an internet connection, and they can also interface with smart devices in your home, like thermostats, cameras, and lights. Using complex self-teaching algorithms, they can even learn your needs, preferences and speech patterns, and be able to predict them.


The new generation of AI assistants are highly personalised, designed to know and do it all, to connect consumer and personal data in a secure way, and, of course, to stay out of the Uncanny Valley (that creepy borderland between human and not).


If you haven’t got an AI assistant yet, it’s time to get on board – but with giants like Google, Apple, Amazon, Samsung and Microsoft all pushing their newest versions, which of this bevy of talented newcomers is the best bot for the job? Read on for our top 10


#1. Siri


Apple’s superstar bot, available across most Apple platforms, has the best-loved AI apps and can respond to complex voice queries. Her skills include:


Answering questions and giving recommendations

Making calls and texting

Telling you where you are

Reading you the weather report

Passing on requests to other Internet services


Siri can adapt to your language and preferences


Siri adapts to users’ searches, languages, and preferences, and is favoured by 44% of American smartphone users, according to a 2018 survey.


#2. Cortana


Microsoft’s Cortana, named after a literary AI, is also popular and uses device data and the Bing search engine to deliver personal recommendations. Cortana can work with many Windows apps, as well as third-party apps, and handle tasks like:

Giving reminders and taking notes

Answering questions

Hands-free assistance

Calendar and tasklist management


#3. Google Assistant


Google joined the virtual assistant race in 2016 with this offering, one of the most highly advanced AI assistants. Responding to both text and voice, Google Assistant can help you with:


Voice-activated searches and device control

Task management

Finding info online (of course)

Appointments and reminders

Real-time translation


The assistant can be found in cars, fridges and headphones as well as in phones.


#4. Alexa


Amazon’s Alexa can play you music and audiobooks, and in some models, can be activated with a wakeword. Alexa’s other skills include:


Making to-do lists

Podcast streaming


Real-time weather, traffic, news and sports information


#5. Bixby


Samsung’s Bixby is contextually aware and can give personalised answers that vary according to who’s asking. Bixby has skills that include:


Taking selfies

Turning AC and lights off and on

Changing your TV channel and wallpaper

Tailored news and weather information

Meeting reminders

Calling and texting

Posting pictures to Facebook


#6. DataBot


Designed to look like a protocol droid, DataBot can answer questions on a wide range of interesting and important topics, and entertain you with quotes, riddles and jokes. And yes, as you’d expect from a protocol droid, DataBot is fluent in several languages. The droid’s other skills include:


Personalised dialogue and tutorials

Multimedia presentations

Etymology, synonyms and antonyms

Health monitoring

Web searches

Shopping lists, appointments and reminders

Alarm clock

News and horoscopes

Voice-activated music and fun sounds

Email, texting, and posting on social media


#7. Lyra


Highly intelligent Lyra can also understand multiple languages and read context and intent like a human. Lyra’s abilities include:


Finding you the best bar or restaurant

Voice-activated music controls

Directions and Google Maps searches

Searching via a number of searches, Yelp, and YouTube

Text translation from over 70 languages

Connecting with social media

Weather for anywhere in the world


#8. Hound


While you may not have heard of Hound, it’s favoured by an array of big names including Motorola, Hyundai, Honda and Mercedes-Benz. Hound can handle all these tasks and more:


Fast, accurate searches with natural voice commands

Refining search results

Calling and texting

News and weather

Flight status updates

Finding hotels


Calling Uber


#9. Youper

Youper is a bit different, focusing on emotional health rather than practical needs. This expert-approved and highly-rated assistant gets to know users and can track their moods. Functions include:


Quick conversations

Help controlling your emotional health

Personalised guided meditations

Personalised techniques chosen for you, including mindfulness and CBT


#10. Robin


Audioburst’s AI assistant (or should that be sidekick?) is open and expandable, unlike Siri, and can even respond to gestures. Robin’s functions include:


Playing your favourite radio and podcast content

Calling and texting

Automatic playlist building

Traffic alerts and parking information

Fuel price updates

Information on sports, food, celebrities, politics, history and design

Posted by: Morgan Spencer