Browse Definitions:
Definition

voice assistant

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A voice assistant is a digital assistant that uses voice recognition, natural language processing and speech synthesis to provide aid to users through phones and voice recognition applications.

Voice assistants are used in help and service phone lines, smartphones and other places to assist users with tasks, including:

  • Listening to an audiobook.
  • Requesting information, similarly to inputting a search query.
  • Making reservations.
  • Adding items to a shopping list.
  • Performing mathematical calculations.
  • Playing music.

Voice assistants are built on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and voice recognition technology. As the end user interacts with the digital assistant, the AI programming uses sophisticated algorithms to learn from data input and better itself at predicting the user's needs. Some assistants are built with more advanced cognitive computing technologies which will allow a digital assistant to understand and carry out multi-step requests with numerous interactions and perform more complex tasks, such as booking seats at a movie theater.

Digital assistants can be contrasted with another application of consumer-facing AI called smart advisors. Smart advisor programs are knowledge-oriented, while digital assistants are task-oriented, although some perform both roles. Popular voice assistants currently include Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Google Now, Google Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana.

This was last updated in August 2017

Continue Reading About voice assistant

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

How can virtual assistants make your life at work easier?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

SearchSecurity

  • insider threat

    Insider threat is a generic term for a threat to an organization's security or data that comes from within.

  • ransomware

    Ransomware is a subset of malware in which the data on a victim's computer is locked, typically by encryption, and payment is ...

  • hacker

    A hacker is an individual who uses computer, networking or other skills to overcome a technical problem.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • 3D XPoint

    3D XPoint is memory storage technology jointly developed by Intel and Micron Technology Inc.

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close