Irish accent not always understood by software

IRISH accents are not always understood by their virtual assistants with people in Donegal and Kerry amongst those experiencing the most difficulties, according to a new survey.

The research carried out by Citywest company Pure Telecom, surveyed 1,005 adults on the benefits and drawbacks of digital assistants in Ireland.

Paul Connell CEO Pure Telecom

Paul Connell, CEO Pure Telecom 

A top grievance for respondents using virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, is getting the software to understand their accent, with 32 per cent citing this as a significant drawback.

Those living in Donegal experience the most difficulties (39 per cent) of users followed by Clare (36 per cent) and Kerry (33 per cent).

An area of concern for Irish users revolves around fears of being listened to, with 28 per cent worried about personal privacy.

On the other hand, benefits of virtual assistants include availability (36 per cent), facilitating hands-free use of devices (30 per cent), and entertaining to use (25 per cent).

While up to 25 per cent say they are more organised with the service, minor complaints from users cited becoming lazier (12 per cent) and more anti-social (7 per cent).

Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom, said: “As the survey shows, digital assistants are becoming more and more commonplace in our daily lives. While Irish people may have issues being understood by their assistant, their always-on availability has driven widespread use for tasks like streaming music and organising calendars.

“Having a smooth and reliable internet connection is a must. Our survey showed that 59 per cent of us use three or more internet-connected devices on a daily basis, highlighting our increasing reliance on fast broadband speeds.”

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