There’s one thing that some virtual assistants can’t do – understand an Irish accent

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There’s one thing that some virtual assistants can’t do – understand an Irish accent


A smart speaker (Federica De Caria/PA)
A smart speaker (Federica De Caria/PA)

The Irish brogue is often lauded as one of our nation’s most attractive attributes, but it doesn’t always translate very well.

While Ireland is recognised as one of the most innovative tech hubs globally, our accents aren’t quite compatible with one widely adopted digital toy.

According to the latest research from Pure Telecom, virtual assistants are baffled by what comes out of our mouths.

In the survey of more than 1,000 adults, questioned on the pros and cons of their chosen VA software, location definitely contributes to the confusion.

Donegal natives experience the most difficulty, with almost two fifths (39pc) stating that they are never, or seldom, understood by their digital helper.

Followed close behind are their southwest counterparts in Clare (36pc) and Kerry (33pc).

However, far fewer complications were noted by those living in Laois, with almost half (47pc) claiming that they are always understood by their VA.

These ‘best-spoken’ Irish are closely followed by neighbour Carlow (39pc), Roscommon (39pc) and Limerick (35pc).

While the majority of Irish people (84pc) have used one of these robots, users here are still terrified of being overheard, with over one quarter (28pc) concerned about personal privacy.

However, the benefits of the popular assistants were also highlighted, including constant availability (36pc), allowing hands-free use (30pc) and for entertainment (25pc).

“While Irish people may have issues being understood by their assistant, their always-on availability has driven widespread use for tasks like streaming music and organising calendars,” Pure Telecom Paul Connell said.

Online Editors