46% of Americans Use Digital Voice Assistants

According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted this spring, presented by Kenneth Olmstead, voice-controlled digital assistants are being incorporated into a wide range of consumer products, and 46% of U.S. adults say they now use these applications to interact with smartphones and other devices.

% Of Adults Who Say They Ever:

Use voice assistants        46%
Use voice assistants on
   Smartphone                        42
   Computer or tablet             14
   Stand alone device            8
   Other device                        3
Source: Pew Research Center, November 2017

Voice assistants are present on a wide range of devices, says the report, but the most common way for Americans to use them is on a smartphone: 42% of U.S. adults use voice assistants in this way. 14% of the public has used a voice assistant on a computer or tablet, while 8% say they use them on a stand-alone device such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home.

These applications are relatively popular among the ages 18 to 49: 55% of Americans in this age group say they use voice assistants, compared with 37% of those 50 and older.

Presented with a number of reasons why they might use voice assistants, 55% of users say “a major reason” they use the assistants is that these applications allow them to interact with their devices without using their hands. Smaller shares say that they use voice assistants because they are fun (23% cite this as a “major reason”), because speaking to the assistant feels more natural than typing (22%), or because these programs are easier for children to use (14%).

Freeing Hands Major Reason For Adoption


Major reason

Minor reason


Use of device without hands




It’s fun




Spoken language more natural than typing




Easier for children to use




Source: Pew Research Center, November 2017

Voice assistants can also be used as “remote controls” of other connected systems such as car locks and home lighting and heating systems. About a quarter of voice assistant adopters (26%) say they use the assistants to connect remotely to other things.

Among others familiar with the concept, 61% say they are just not interested in the tool. Around one-quarter of this group say they do not use voice assistants because none of the devices they own have this feature (28%) or because they are concerned about privacy (27%). And a slightly smaller share (18%) reports that voice assistants are too complicated to use.

For additional information from Pew Research, please visit here.


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