A new study has found that the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant smart speakers have a difficult time understanding users who have Belfast and Dublin accents.
The recent study conducted by Uswitch analyzed Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant users across 309 cities in the UK and Ireland.
Ultimately, both Dublin and Belfast accents ranked within the top 15 of the 30 most misunderstood accents across the region.
Belfast in Northern Ireland came in as the fifth most misunderstood accent, while Dublin in the Republic of Ireland came in as the 11th most misunderstood.
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Uswitch says that each participant in the independent study asked their smart speaker a series of ten questions and filmed the smart speaker’s response. The researchers then uploaded videos of each response to Google Transcribe to see how many times the questions weren’t dictated correctly.
A point was given each time the smart speaker did not understand a question - the higher the score, the more misunderstood the accent was determined to be.
The most misunderstood accent in the UK and Ireland? That’s Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, with 82 points. Uswitch says Cardiff produced 1,550 understandability searches and a voice clarity score of 7 out of 10.
Following Cardiff was Glasgow with a score of 77 and 1,550 searches for smart speaker accent issues and a voice clarity score of 5. Next up was Liverpool with a score of 70 points and whose users produced 1,700 searches a month for "Why doesn’t my smart speaker understand me?"
Rounding out the top five is Birmingham with a score of 65, and Belfast in Northern Ireland right behind it with a score of 64.
Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland, ranked at 11th place with 55 points.
With only 11 points, London, the capital city of England, was ranked as the easiest accent to understand for Amazon Alexa and Google Home speakers.
“You can see a clear north/ south divide, with southerners sounding clearer to Amazon and Google devices," Uswitch says.
Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch, said: "Smart speakers are becoming an integral part of many modern-day homes.
"While most of us find them useful it's clear that more needs to be done to make voice recognition features smoother.
"The use of artificial intelligence in products is only going to increase, and as it grows in popularity it's important that features are accessible to all. The more we use virtual assistants the better they will get at understanding us. Some brands are already taking steps to allow assistants to learn about our accents which should avoid alienating customers and improve user experience.”
Data presented in October 2019 found that nearly 10 percent of homes in Ireland had a smart speaker.
One of those homes is the Fleming family home in Co Kerry. Social media star Tadhg Fleming frequently posts videos having the craic with Alexa, like this one, where a Kerryman has a wee dance to "Beat It" by Michael Jackson:
Has your smart home speaker had a tough time with your Irish accent? Let us know in the comments, below!