Excerpt: Many commentators have predicted that 2017 will be the year of Amazon’s Alexa. Alexa is one of several virtual voice assistants that are working their way into our everyday lives. The Amazon Echo and the smaller Echo Dot had a great sales year in 2016 and finished off the holiday season as the best selling items on Amazon. Estimates by Forrester indicate that 6 million Amazon Echo devices were sold by the end of 2016. That’s a lot of hardware.
Alexa is just one of the virtual assistants available for lawyers today. There’s also Google Home/Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Siri was the first on the market but has rapidly lost ground to Alexa and Google Assistant, the two big players in the virtual assistant offerings. Google has the advantage for research since it has access to the power of Google search. Alexa is a better integration device, especially with the addition of “skills” that allow it to connect to other services and apps. Bixby is the newest player in the virtual assistant space and promises to have some unique features that don’t exist in the others. One such feature is the ability to take a picture of something in a foreign language (e.g. road sign, business advertisement, etc.) and Bixby will translate it for you.