This is an interesting write up (and I am not surprised about the hype behind this). Considerable marketing efforts have devolved over the past few years; specially about Siri which remains a pathetic attempt at “machine learning”).
Today’s `intelligent’ assistants are still far from passing a Turing test — for most interactions, people will easily figure out that they are not speaking with a human. Although users project human-like qualities onto them, they have relatively low expectations for these assistants and reserve them for black-and-white, factual questions. Even though the main hurdle is probably better natural language and dialogue processing (an inherently hard problem), many smaller scale issues could be fixed with more thoughtful design.Intelligent Assistants Have Poor Usability: A User Study of Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
Not exactly an apples to oranges comparison but these voice assistants fall behind on several usability metrics.
I believe that the larger goal is to condition individuals to speak to inanimate objects (it is the mainstreaming of the behaviours that we would have taken “out of the ordinary”)