Through the looking glass: One angle to consider is why people are being polite to a digital assistant in the first place. The tech is designed to respond to your commands and isn’t going to do a better job just because you ask nicely. Are people just being polite because that’s their general nature? Maybe some are doing so to set a good example for their children – if they are nice to digital assistants, maybe they’ll exhibit good manners during interactions with other humans outside the home?

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