Amazon Amal?

The internet of things is changing the way we live but is it destroying our language?

From Google Now and Siri on mobile phones to Amazon Alexa in the home, people are increasingly talking to their devices to organise appointments, check the weather and even turn on the lights. Jae Hong / AP Photo
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Personal assistants are big business for technology companies. From Google Now and Siri on mobile phones to Amazon Alexa in the home, people are increasingly talking to their devices to organise appointments, check the weather and even turn on the lights.

While the capabilities of these devices vary, they all have one thing in common: English is the primary and most robust language of interaction.

Officials in Iceland are worried that the Icelandic language is in danger. Iceland, like the UAE, has a remarkably high internet penetration rate and with the explosion of the internet of things and devices such as Amazon’s Alexa, the government is looking at how to fund coders to increase the use of Icelandic on the internet.

That got us thinking about a personal assistant that spoke Arabic. As this technology takes hold in the Middle East, there is a demand for an assistant that speaks local languages. Would you prefer to have an Arabic-speaking Amazon Amal instead of an Alexa?