When Siri arrived in 2011, it was easy to poke fun at our first voice-controlled robo-assistant. Five years later, voice-enacted A.I. is booming: 65% of smartphone owners use voice assistants, according to Mary Meeker’s annual report on the state of the Internet. That usage has more than doubled in the last three years. Google has seen a 700% rise in voice search queries since 2010. As of last June, Siri was seeing one billion requests per week.
Why are people talking to machines more? Sixty-one percent of users say voice is more convenient when their hands or vision are occupied. Another 30% said they use voice for faster results.
But why now? Thirty-two percent of people credit say the technology has improved. And they’re right: Accuracy of voice recognition has surpassed 90% in recent years. As it approaches 99%, Meeker says, voice control will become ubiquitous.