Siri sheds users as AI assistants struggle to take over | Cult of Mac

Siri sheds users as AI assistants struggle to take over


Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Siri's popular, but getting less so.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Siri remains the most widely used virtual assistant but is losing popularity, according to a new report.

What does this mean for HomePod, Apple’s upcoming smart speaker? And what type of person is an AI assistant “superuser”? The study offers some surprising insights.

The Verto Analytics report analyzed mobile app usage in the U.S. between May 2016 and May 2017. It concluded that, despite the publicity they’ve received, usage of AI assistants remains spotty — and may even be declining. That’s certainly true for Siri.

Verto claims Siri’s active base declined by around 15 percent between May 2016 and May 2017, to around 7.3 million monthly users. User engagement with Siri also dropped during the same time period, with the number of people who use Siri on a daily basis falling from 21 percent to 11 percent.

The most popular uses for smart mobile assistants? Navigation and maps, which significantly outrank other applications.

And the AI assistant superuser is …

Most interestingly, Verto’s report suggests that the typical superuser of AI assistants is a 50-something female who uses these tools approximately 1.5 hours per month. (The average user spends just 12 minutes with them.) This is very different from the early adopter demographic breakdowns you typically find for new technologies.

“Despite all the hype, AI-driven personal assistant apps have yet to gain a sturdy foothold among consumers,” said Hannu Verkasalo, CEO of Verto Analytics. “AI-driven apps and services are still very much in their early days. As this market grows and we examine consumer adoption of these apps, it will be important for brands and publishers to understand how and when consumers are using them, and with what other apps and services.”

Amazon Echo versus HomePod

Provided it’s accurate, this info makes interesting reading as standalone smart assistants like the Amazon Echo gain popularity.

Apple is set to launch its debut Siri smart speaker, HomePod, later this year. Apple talks up HomePod’s audio quality far more than its Siri implementation.

Are you a regular user of Siri? Leave your comments below.

Source: Verto Analytics


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.