Home / News / Google Assistant and Alexa can now answer questions about U.K. passports, bank holidays, more

Google Assistant and Alexa can now answer questions about U.K. passports, bank holidays, more

Questioning methods to practice for a brand new passport, which organizations be offering unfastened childcare, or when the following financial institution vacation could be? When you’re based totally within the U.Okay. and also you’ve were given a speaker, smartphone, or sensible show powered via Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, you’ll have the ability to get solutions to these questions hands-free beginning this week.

As noticed via Android Police, the U.Okay.’s Govt Virtual Provider (GDS) — the cupboard place of work unit charged with keeping up and streamlining on-line executive data and products and services — the day before today introduced that voice assistant customers can now floor greater than 12,000 items of data on Gov.UK, together with such things as “What age can I retire?” and “What’s the nationwide minimal salary?”

Head of Gov.UK Jennifer Allum says that get entry to to extra information shall be added down the road.

“We need to simplify other people’s interactions with the federal government, making data transparent and out there to everybody,” stated Allum in a observation. “Those effects are promising as a result of voice products and services could be a in reality handy method to get data, in particular for individuals who in finding computer systems and telephones onerous to make use of.”

The 1000’s of newly searchable factoids are the paintings of a small group inside of GDS tasked with making it more straightforward for seek and data engines — together with Google Assistant, Alexa, and different clever assistants — to parse and supply information from Gov.UK. Overdue remaining summer time, they tapped Schema.org — a joint effort to reinforce the internet via including structured markup to webpages — to enforce schemas for informational and information articles and step by step guides, and so they pledged to combine “extra concise” solutions into long term and current Gov.UK content material.

Voice assistants are bettering of their talent to offer correct solutions to questions thank you partly to those efforts, however they’re now not best possible. In a learn about performed via Loup Ventures remaining yr, Google Assistant was once solely in a position to reply to 88 % of 800 questions appropriately as opposed to Apple’s Siri at 75 %, Alexa at 73 %, and Cortana at 63 %.

For its phase, Amazon has made a concerted effort during the last few months to offer Alexa with new information assets. This summer time, the corporate started sourcing hours of operation, descriptions, and addresses from Yext, a knowledge control platform that counts Taco Bell, Arby’s, Marriott, and Ceremony Help amongst its shoppers. December noticed the release of Alexa Solutions, an invitation-only program that permits other people to post solutions to questions that, if licensed, are allotted to the tens of millions of Alexa customers around the globe. And Amazon not too long ago built-in Alexa with Wolfram Analysis’s Wolfram Alpha computational engine to reinforce its math and science wisdom.

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