Regional Accents Could Affect Intelligent Virtual Assistants, Report Says

Published: July 27, 2020

Virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant are becoming more popular in the enterprise conference rooms, and that means a virtual assistant in a conference room in Boston may pick up language differently than in a conference room in St. Louis, according to a new report.

If someone has ever asked what time the Boston Bruins’ game was at the “Gahden” or asked about a “yoger” class in Maine to intelligent virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant and gotten an odd response, the regional accent could be the problem, according to a recently published report from Gear Hungry.

The report — which is the result of surveying 3,000 Alexa and Google Home users — ranks regional accents and the ability of voice control platforms like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri to understand the intelligibility of each dialect.

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The regional accents, including Boston, Maine, Hawaiian, Texan, Chicago and others were ranked from most understandable to least.  Here’s a partial look at Gear Hungry’s list:

Starting with the most understandable, this doesn’t really qualify, but the website says, “general American accent.” Following the “general American” accent, the site says the next three most understandable accents are St. Louis, Long Island and Connecticut.

The eighth most understandable accent, and the first Midwestern accent to appear on the list belongs to Milwaukee, followed by the first Southern-based accent to appear on the list: Atlanta.

Ranking as the 18th most understandable accent is the aforementioned famous regional accent from the city of Boston.

Topping the list as the least understandable regional accents in order from five to one are Chicago, New Mexico, Northwestern, Alaskan, and Maine.

Here is the complete list of accent rankings.

This story originally appeared on our sister site CEPro. 

Posted in: Insights, News

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