Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year, you’ll know that the Royal Wedding between HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is taking place this Saturday.
While you might be celebrating with a garden party and a jug of Pimms, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are taking things to the next level with a slew of brand new royal wedding-related commands.
That’s right — if you’ve ever wanted to know the ins and outs of royal wedding etiquette, all you need to do is consult your favorite virtual assistant.
Here are a few of the commands you can hit them with (see here for the full list):
- Alexa, tell me a fun fact about the Royal Wedding
- Alexa, who is Prince Harry’s best man?
- Alexa, tell me a royal wedding joke
And for Google Assistant…
- Teach me royal etiquette
- How can I be a princess?
- What do you think Harry will do on his stag?
- Is Meghan a good match for Harry?
- I don’t care about the royal wedding.
Let’s take a look at them head to head:
Plus, rumor has it that if you ask your Alexa device to tell you a with a fairytale ending, it will regale you with a special poem written for the wedding.
Alas, while Alexa is a pro at reciting poems and facts relating to various royal wedding trivia, it’s known that one of her biggest weaknesses is the fact that she’s unable to distinguish human voices — to the extent that she can’t tell the difference between people talking within themselves in a corner of the room and radio static.
But that may all be about to change.
Audio Analytic, a UK-based startup, has spent the past decade developing technology that will enable machines to recognize the various idiosyncratic sounds of human speech.
Dubbed ’embedded sound recognition software’, the technology will gift machines with an AI sense of hearing, allowing them to recognize and react to the sounds around us.
Essentially, the software is a huge sound library — and its already been sold to big AI players like Intel and Cisco.
So, what will this mean for your smart home device?
Well, it will be a more intelligent machine that will be able to recognize and react to human conversations and commands much better. It will also be able to react in emergency situations — at the sound of broken glass, when a smoke alarm starts ringing, and will make an appropriate response. When the dog barks or a baby starts crying, too, your device will be able to immediately notify you of what’s going on.
Of course, with greater artificial intelligence comes greater fears for our personal security and the threat of device hacking.
Maybe it’s a good thing our devices are sticking to royal wedding trivia for the time being…
Featured image is by Garry Knight (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)