Are you polite to your smart speaker?

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Smart speakers have taken the consumer tech world by storm over the past few years. With a wide range of devices supporting multiple assistants from a variety of manufacturers now available at virtually every price point, there’s no reason to think they won’t be a popular choice again this holiday season.

On the subject of smart speakers, a recent Pew Research Center survey got us thinking – do you exercise any sort of etiquette when conversing with your smart speaker?

According to Pew, a lot of people do. Their survey found that more than half – 54 percent – of smart speaker owners have said “please” while conversing with a digital assistant. Curiously enough, there’s a noticeable difference in etiquette based on gender with only 45 percent of men reporting that they have ever said “please” versus 62 percent of women.

Why is that the case, you ask? Well, that’s a good question but unfortunately, Pew didn’t ask any follow-ups so we’re left to draw our own conclusions. One could get into all sorts of debates regarding gender stereotypes and that sort of thing but those arguments can be saved for some other time.

Masthead credit: Smart speaker by metamorworks

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m4a4

TS Evangelist
Why would I be polite to a piece of tech? There are no emotions to appeal to lol
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
Every once in a while if I'm in a rush, or really not paying attention, I'll say "thanks" to my Echo after a request. Out of habit more than trying to be "polite to my device."
 
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Godel

TS Maniac
One of the problems can be that children get into the habit of talking to their parents, siblings and friends using the kind of language they use to talk to the smart speaker, and have to be pulled into line regarding the use of manners.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
...(Would have told the 'smart speaker'), "push off and get knotted"....
About 50 years ago I bought an early "Genesis" album, (yes vinyl). I couldn't understand a damned thing they were going on about.. Which was kind of weird since, "English is my native language". Turns out the album was in "British".

In any case, judging by the "Zed" in your alias, I take it you're not from the US.

The Beatles took the US by storm, but you couldn't tell they were from England until they stopped singing. I honestly think they were drilled in "American accents", before coming here.

Then there was their song "Til There Was You", which had the line, "there were birds in the sky but I never sawr them winging".

Which is where it gets complicated: https://www.quora.com/Why-do-as-far-as-I-know-only-British-add-r-to-some-words-Why-do-British-pronounce-saw-as-sawr-or-and-sore-E-g-I-saw-it-is-pronounced-I-sore-sawr-it

Cockney rhyming slang, (I think), was the more "civilized" precursor to our vulgar rap. And the Brits invented to "pit bull" as well. (Staffordshire bull terrier') The Yankee version of which now overflows in our animal shelters.

OK, I think that's far enough topic, for now anyway.
 

veLa

TS Evangelist
I don't own one, but when I still had a roommate with his in the living room I'd finish every command with "b!tch" because I don't respect it.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
I always curse at my phone when the voice rec messes up, in hope it gets marked as something that needs fixing by the snoops.
 
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Ravey

TS Addict
I have been known to say please to Siri while driving in my car. and also saying yes/no thank you when Siri asks me a question.

It's more of an automatic response than me being polite. I was taught to say please and thank, I guess sometimes my brain just doesn't register who/what I'm conversing with.
 

stewi0001

TS Evangelist
Platinum
I'm in the frequently polite category. I think in part that it ultimately reflects on who you are. Kind of like when you play an RPG.
 

LNCPapa

TS Special Forces
I almost always say thanks to Google or Alexa but I have noticed I am far more regularly polite to Google because I have it set to listen for a few seconds after getting a response and Google acknowledges the politeness.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
I have been known to say please to Siri while driving in my car. and also saying yes/no thank you when Siri asks me a question.

It's more of an automatic response than me being polite. I was taught to say please and thank, I guess sometimes my brain just doesn't register who/what I'm conversing with....[ ]....
How right you are. Vestigial remnants of the socialization process.

I try to be manifestly polite on the road, with my use of the vehicle. (However what I'm actually saying or screaming while doing so, would qualify as "anti social behavior").

Both humans afoot, and my cats generally never hear a cross words. In fact, I even make jokes about the situation when I'm calling in a customer complaint. I wait patiently when put on hold.

However, (an again IF), a smart speaker ever found its way into my home, I would piss on it to try and fry the circuit board
 
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Ravey

TS Addict
How right you are. Vestigial remnants of the socialization process.

I try to be manifestly polite on the road, with my use of the vehicle. (However what I'm actually saying or screaming while doing so, would qualify as "anti social behavior").

Both humans afoot, and my cats generally never hear a cross words. In fact, I even make jokes about the situation when I'm calling in a customer complaint. I wait patiently when put on hold.

However, (an again IF), a smart speaker ever found its way into my home, I would piss on it to try and fry the circuit board
Ha! you sound a lot like me, I get overly pissed with other drivers on the road, any other time I'm a very polite individual.

I think maybe you are being a bit harsh on Smart speakers though... They can be a good tool if used correctly...
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Ha! you sound a lot like me, I get overly pissed with other drivers on the road, any other time I'm a very polite individual......'[ ]....
There's actually a psyghological , or is it sociological theory about why that happens.

If you've ever heard of a pistol called an "equalizer", (an is "equalizing the size of two individuals"), sic, "wait til I get my hands on mah EE-Kah-Lye-zer".

Theoreticians believe the mass and shelter of a vehicle creates the same kind of dynamic.

In that a 100 pound woman driving a Ford F-150, can literally, "beat up" a 250 pound man driving a Volkswagen "Beetle".

Aggressive driving is purely an inflated ego phenomenon, and bases itself in an exaggerated, even* exponentially magnified, sense of self importance. "The needs of the one, always outweighs the needs of the many", in the mind of the offending driver, and is usually accompanied by the constant blaring of the car horn.

Me you wonder? I have to be nice as at least half the time, I"m driving a motorcycle. I'm not out spoiling for a confrontation with a semi... :eek:
 

Ravey

TS Addict
There's actually a psyghological , or is it sociological theory about why that happens.

If you've ever heard of a pistol called an "equalizer", (an is "equalizing the size of two individuals"), sic, "wait til I get my hands on mah EE-Kah-Lye-zer".

Theoreticians believe the mass and shelter of a vehicle creates the same kind of dynamic.

In that a 100 pound woman driving a Ford F-150, can literally, "beat up" a 250 pound man driving a Volkswagen "Beetle".

Aggressive driving is purely an inflated ego phenomenon, and bases itself in an exaggerated, even* exponentially magnified, sense of self importance. "The needs of the one, always outweighs the needs of the many", in the mind of the offending driver, and is usually accompanied by the constant blaring of the car horn.

Me you wonder? I have to be nice as at least half the time, I"m driving a motorcycle. I'm not out spoiling for a confrontation with a semi... :eek:
So basically we become internet trolls while driving? cool :)