I don’t see such an issue here – just as we have different streaming video services where we get different content, or different music stores where we get different content, we’ll also have different Virtual Assistants (VAs) where we get different content. Even when VAs become our primary access point to content, as long as there’s choice and no single company becomes dominant we will choose our VA as needed.
As the article says, Virtual Assistants are still evolutionary babies, but they are becoming more open or extensible. The problem is that this still massive power in the hands of the Virtual Assistant creators – no company wants Google to be able to see every transaction or FAQ search their customers make.
And then there’s the whole area (largely untapped) of personal VA’s, or personal robots, where they could become our primary access point to many more things than just the internet. They may need to be able to use Siri or Google Now on our behalf.
I can see a future where we have Personal Virtual Assistants that are built-in to our personal droids that can communicate with Siri, Google Now, your Banks app, the open web, your home heating, your car etc, sending the information thats needed to complete the requested task. An open API that enables this would be in the mutual interests of all companies with a VA, as it enables greatly enhances the capabilities of all VA’s.