Words That Inadvertently Activate Alexa, Siri, And Google Assistant

If you’ve noti ced your smartspeaker or digital assistant activating when you don’t want it to it could be due to it picking up a word from the TV, radio, or other source. A group of German researchers tested Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana. They noted what words were being said each time a device’s LED display would turn on. They catalogued more than 1,000 words and phrases that produced inadvertent activations. Researcher Dorothea Kolossa says it’s likely the virtual assistant’s designers purposefully chose to make them more sensitive to sounds to avoid frustrating users. They found Amazon’s Alexa is activated by simply saying “Alexa,” but other words that will trigger the device include “unacceptable,” “election,” “a letter,” and “tobacco.” Google Assistant is usually activated by saying, “Ok, Google,” but could also be activated by saying, “Ok, cool,” and “Ok, who is reading?” Apple’s Siri is usually activated by saying “Hey Siri,” but will also respond to “a city,” and “Hey Jerry.” Microsoft’s Cortana is usually activated by saying “Hey Cortana,” but the scientists found that “Montana” would also activate it.