The voice in your phone wants your attention. It wants you to believe that it’s more than just a party trick. It’s fighting to prove its worth amid an increasingly crowded room of virtual assistants, all of which are still in the early stages of development — the first consumer virtual assistant, Siri, was introduced only five years ago. And while today’s still-nascent virtual assistants are flawed, they can still be pretty useful if you’re willing to let them into your life. (And if you know the right questions to ask.)

We tested three virtual assistants — Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana — to figure out which of them most deserves a place in your everyday life. The test consisted of 12 standardized questions (that we made up). Some of them were easy (“What’s the weather tomorrow?”) while others were meant to test the assistants’ limits (“What was Ken Griffey Jr.’s batting average during his rookie season?”). The technology behind these virtual assistants is indeed incredible. A few of our questions elicited seriously impressive, holy-shit-how-did-it-do-that reactions, such that we can only imagine what they’ll be like five years from now.

Siri by Apple

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GP: Who are you?
Siri: I am Siri.

GP: Who made you?
Siri: Like it says on the box… I was designed by Apple in California.

GP: Play Robot Rock by Daft Punk on Spotify.
Siri: I couldn’t find “Robot Rock” by Daft Punk on Spotify.

GP: Who has the most Olympic medals?
Siri:: Here’s some information. [Siri shows a Wikipedia entry for “Olympic medals.”]

GP: What’s happening in New York City today?
Siri: Here’s some news for “New York City” Take a look: [Siri displays Safari search results.]

GP: How big is the sun?
Siri: The average radius of the sun is about 432,200 miles. [Siri displays a big table of assorted astronomical data from Wolfram Alpha.]

GP: Tell me a joke.
Siri: What did one iPhone say to the other iPhone?… Hmm, I used to know this one.

GP: What was Ken Griffey Junior’s batting average during his rookie season?
Siri: I found an article about Batting Average. Should I read it to you? [Siri shows a Wikipedia page.]

GP: Set a reminder to call Eric on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.
Siri: Did you mean Erin?
GP: No.
Siri: OK, I’ll remind you.

GP: What is the meaning of life?
Siri: To think about questions like this.

GP: What’s the weather going to be tomorrow?
Siri: It will be hot and sunny tomorrow, with a high temperature of 87 degrees. [Siri shows a 12-day forecast.]

GP: Give me driving directions to LaGuardia, with no tolls.
Siri: Getting directions to LaGuardia Airport avoiding tolls. [Siri opens up the Maps app.]

GP: What are the best Scotches under $250?
Siri: [Siri displays Safari search results for “best colleges.”]

GP: Who is Gucci Mane?
Siri: I found some information about Gucci Mane on Wikipedia. Would you like me to read it to you?

GP: What was the first James Bond movie?
Siri: [Siri displays Safari search results for “what was the first James Bond movie.”]
GP: Goddamn you, Siri.

Alexa by Amazon

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GP: Who are you?
Alexa: I’m Alexa, and I’m designed around your voice. You can ask me to play music, answer questions, get the weather and sports scores, create to-do lists and much more.

GP: Who made you?
Alexa: I’m made by Amazon.

GP: Play Robot Rock by Daft Punk on Spotify.
Alexa: “Robot Rock” by Daft Punk, on Spotify. [Alexa plays the song.]
GP: Alexa, stop. [Alexa stops the music.]

GP: Who has the most Olympic medals?
Alexa: USA leads the medal count with 78 medals: 27 gold, 25 silver and 26 bronze, followed by China with 47 medals and the United Kingdom, with 41 medals. Brazil is in 14th place with 10 medals.

GP: What’s happening in New York City today?
Alexa: [Alexa plays WNYC.]
GP: Alexa, skip ahead.
Alexa: [Alexa plays a Washington Post briefing.]

GP: How big is the sun?
Alexa: [Alexa rattles off every stat about the sun, ever.]

GP: Tell me a joke.
Alexa: What is black and white, and red all over? A newspaper.

GP: What was Ken Griffey Junior’s batting average during his rookie season?
Alexa: [Alexa makes a beeping noise and falls silent.]

GP: Set a reminder to call Eric Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.
Alexa: I’ve added Call Eric on Tuesday at 10 a.m. to your to-do list.

GP: What is the meaning of life?
Alexa: The answer is 42, but the question is more complicated.

GP: What’s the weather going to be tomorrow?
Alexa: Tomorrow in Brooklyn, there will be intermittent clouds, with a high of 89 and a low of 72.

GP: Give me driving directions to LaGuardia, no tolls.
Alexa: Hmm, I’m not sure what you meant by that question.

GP: What are the best Scotches under $250?
Alexa: Sorry, I didn’t understand the question I heard.

GP: Who is Gucci Mane?
Alexa: Radric Delantic Davis, better known by his stage name Gucci Mane, is an American rapper from Atlanta, Georgia.

GP: What was the first James Bond movie?
Alexa: The earliest James Bond movie is Dr. No.

Cortana by Microsoft

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GP: Who are you?
Cortana: I’m your personal assistant. You can tell me the things that interest you and I’ll keep it in my Notebook, that way I can make suggestions and keep you up to date.

GP: Who made you?
Cortana: While I can’t give details, let me assure you, humans are involved.

GP: Play “Robot Rock” by Daft Punk on Spotify.
Cortana: I pulled up some videos for you. [Cortana pulls up YouTube search results.]

GP: Who has the most Olympic medals?
Cortana: Michael Phelps has the most summer Olympic medals, with 28 medals in total.

GP: What’s happening in New York City today?
Cortana: Here is what I found. [Cortana displays Bing search results for a place called “Happening” in New York City.]
GP: Goddamnit, Cortana.

GP: How big is the sun?
Cortana: 432,376 miles.

GP: Tell me a joke.
Cortana: Why do seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over the bay, they’d be bagels.

GP: What was Ken Griffey Junior’s batting average during his rookie season?
Cortana: [Cortana displays Bing search results for “Ken Griffey Jr.’s stats.”]

GP: Set a reminder to call Eric on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.
Cortana: OK, I can remind you to call Eric on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Sound good?
GP: Yeah.
Cortana: OK, I’ll remind you. You can also see it in your reminders list at any time.

GP: What is the meaning of life?
Cortana: I’ve heard from a reliable source that the answer is 42. But still no word on what the question is.

GP: What’s the weather going to be tomorrow?
Cortana: Here’s the forecast for tomorrow. [Cortana displays Bing search results for weather.]

GP: Give me driving directions to Laguardia, no tolls.
Cortana: Sure thing. Getting you directions to LaGuardia airport. [Cortana opens up the maps app.]

GP: What are the best Scotches under $250?
Cortana: [Cortana displays Bing search results for “best Scotches under $250.’]
GP: A Gear Patrol article is right there at the top! I like you, Cortana.

GP: Who is Gucci Mane?
Cortana: Here’s what I found for Gucci Mane. [Cortana displays Bing search results.]

GP: What was the first James Bond movie?
Cortana: Dr. No.