How Voice Assistant Works: A Simple Explanation

Technology behind voice assistants Filter the words that the user says, Digitize the user's speech into a format that the machine can read, Analyze the user's speech for meaning, Decide what the user needs based on previous input and algorithms.

Voice assistants have become an essential part of our daily lives. These digital programs on our devices listen and respond to our verbal commands. We can ask them anything from the weather report to ordering our favorite pizza, and they will carry out our requests effortlessly. However, many of us forget to stop and think about how these voice assistants work.

So, how do they understand us? Is it magic, a complex system of codes, or an actual person listening on the other end? The answer is less complicated than you might think. It all starts with a signal word.

Just like how you call a friend’s name to get their attention, users say the names of their voice assistants for the same reason. The signal word wakes up the device and signals to the voice assistant that it should begin paying attention. Once the voice assistant hears its signal word, it starts recording and waits for a pause to know you’ve finished your request.

The device then sends your recorded request over the Internet to its database. Once in the database, your request is compared to other requests and split into separate commands that your voice assistant can understand. The database then sends these commands back to the voice assistant. Once it receives the commands, the voice assistant knows what to do next.

If the voice assistant thinks it understands your request, it might ask a question to make sure. If it’s confident, it will carry out the tasks you asked for. The entire process happens very quickly, and you get your response in seconds.

Voice assistants are improving all the time, and they learn the same way people do. Every time you ask a voice assistant for something and receive unexpected results, the device learns from its mistake. It communicates that with the database and tries to do better next time.

Voice assistants can do just about anything you can think of. They answer questions, make calls, and can even control parts of your home like the lights and thermostat. Over 35 million Americans already use voice assistants, and the number is growing.

In conclusion, voice assistants are not magic, but they certainly make our lives easier. Understanding how they work can give us a better appreciation of what they can do for us.


How do virtual voice assistants work?
Virtual assistants use natural language processing (NLP) to match user text or voice input to executable commands. Many continually learn using artificial intelligence techniques including machine learning and ambient intelligence.
Can a voice assistant work without Internet?
By default, Google Assistant can work offline, but not all commands can be executed without an internet connection. For instance, "Hey Google, turn on flashlight" and "Hey Google, call James" are examples of commands that can be executed offline.
Is Voice Assistant always listening?
Nearly all voice-activated technology uses microphones that listen for “wake words.” That means they are, technically, always listening. If you want to take control of your privacy, here's how to stop your smart devices from listening.
What are the disadvantages of voice assistant?
Unintelligible Words. ... Not Understanding Commands. ... Providing the Wrong Information. ... Getting Distracted during In-Person Conversation. ... Software Integration Problems.