Digital assistant bots like Siri, Cortana make the internet a smaller place and that's a problem

By dkpope
Feb 2, 2016
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  1. By this point, most of us have seen the slightly terrifying image depicting what might happen if net neutrality dies. It was shared by a Reddit user six years ago and showed one possible future: You have to pay for different “bundles” of internet access, with the price going up for the most popular sites. It’s all conjecture, as The Verge points out the “bundle” issue is already happening when it comes to digital assistants.

    Siri, Google Now, and Cortana don’t have access to all the apps on your phone, so that creates their own “bundle” and undermines the open internet. The Verge notes that this happens because there is no universal way for app creators to allow digital assistants access to the app's data. Usually the app creator indexes in a certain format that works with one digital assistant, but not another.

    It's a big problem that there isn’t a simple standard that all the assistants use. Siri is different from Cortana which is different from Google Now. If one app maker makes their app accessible to Cortana, they will have to redo the process to make the same information accessible to Siri, and on and on. It makes sense that many app makers don’t go through this process because they don’t have the time or manpower. It's understandable, but it results in internet access that is bundled and not representative of an open web at all.

    Image Credit: Shutterstock; Quint on Reddit

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