KIM KOMANDO

How to get Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant to understand you better

Jul 18, 2021, 5:00 AM

(AP Photo)...

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Voice assistants changed the way we interact with technology. Why set an alarm manually when Alexa can do it for you? Siri can type up your emails.

Want to get more out of your Amazon Echo? Tap or click here for new tricks such as using your Echo as a speakerphone to finding the right wine to pair with a particular dish. What about Siri? Tap or click here for my favorite Siri shortcuts.

That’s all well and good — until the third time in a row your AI assistant is confused and you’re frustrated.

If you’ve been having a hard time getting through to your voice assistant, here’s how to get Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant to understand you better.

1. Watch your tone

You’ve probably seen viral videos of people screaming at Alexa or Google Assistant when they don’t get through the first time. While it’s tempting to let out your frustration that way, yelling at any voice assistant makes it even less likely to understand you.

For optimal results, talk at a normal volume. Speak to Alexa, Google or Siri like you’re talking to a friend.

2. Don’t block the mic

You ask Siri a question, and you don’t get an answer. Surprise, your thumb is blocking the mic. If your voice assistant can’t hear you, make sure you’re not the problem.

With Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, you need proper clearance. Amazon suggests at least eight inches of space around your Echo device. That isn’t always possible, but a little breathing room helps it pick up your words more accurately.

3. Act natural

Are you one of those people who talk to a voice assistant robotically? I get it. You think since you’re talking to a robot, you should sound like one too. But today’s AI is designed to pick up on regular human speech.

Talk like a normal person, and your voice assistant will respond best. Instead of “Alexa, alarm 7!” say, “Alexa, set an alarm for 7 in the morning.”

4. Create profiles for various family members

You can train Amazon’s Alexa to recognize up to six different people. This tip can be handy if you have family members with foreign accents or children at varying levels of language development. It’s an easy process and you can let Alexa slowly adjust to various voices.

Here’s how to set up Alexa profiles:

● Open the Alexa app.

● Tap More > Settings.

● Select Your Profile.

● Next to Voice, select Create.

● Select Continue.

You can also train Siri to recognize your voice. Take this extra step if you have an accent or speak quickly. You likely did this when you set up your phone, but try again if you and Siri aren’t getting along.

● Open Settings on your iPhone.

● Click on Siri & Search.

● Toggle the switch next to Listen for “Hey Siri” off and back on.

● Complete the on-screen setup process to train Siri to recognize your voice.

You can also teach Siri how to pronounce the names of people in your life, so you call the right person. If Siri says a name wrong, say, “You pronounced it wrong” to set the smart assistant straight.

Google Assistant has a similar feature called Voice Match. You can teach Google Assistant how to recognize your commands more accurately.

● Open the Google Home app.

● Tap your profile picture or initials.

● Head to Assistant settings > Voice Match.

● Click Add Devices.

● Follow the on-screen directions

5. Make your smart assistant smarter

Often, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri will ask for clarification about something you said. This can be annoying, but answering will help train the AI to know you better.

When you respond to clarify what you were asking about in the first place, it shows your smart assistant how to do better in the future. Every clarification you make, your AI technology remembers and adapts to, making it less likely for you to have to repeat yourself next time.

There are, however, some questions and settings that might be worth the annoyance. Tap or click for fixes to five irritating Echo settings.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Kim Komando

Woman sitting at her computer....

Kim Komando

Here are tech life upgrades smarter than the stuff on TikTok

This story delves into the pitfalls of relying solely on online guidance, particularly in the realm of finance and technology, where clickbait and hype often overshadow genuine insight.

3 days ago

Anything connected is a hacker target, and you better believe that includes all the Internet gadget...

Kim Komando

Tech security to-do: Lock down your smart stuff before it can be hacked

Anything connected is a hacker target, and you better believe that includes all the Internet of Things gadgets in your home.

4 days ago

Family siting on couch....

Kim Komando

Unlocking online safety: The secret text code every family needs

For those who don't have one yet, here's a guide to a secret text code that every family needs to be using these days.

10 days ago

Woman holds phone...

Kim Komando

Unscrupulous scammers targeting children and adolescents

Scammers pose as attractive individuals, coerce teens into sharing sensitive content, and demand payouts. Read to learn more.

11 days ago

collection of streaming services....

Kim Komando

7 ways to stop paying so much on streaming every dang month

Maximize your streaming, minimize your costs! Read more about how to cut add-ons, watch what you love and embrace ads for savings.

18 days ago

Follow @kimkomando...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

How to get Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant to understand you better