Voice activated virtual assistants are growing rapidly in number, variety and visibility, driven by media coverage, corporate communications, and inclusion in a growing variety of devices. This trend can also be observed by how difficult it is becoming to find, among internet users, people who have not used or even heard of this new technology. Having said this, there is a visible shortage of academic research on this topic. Therefore, in the interest of creating a knowledge base around voice activated virtual assistants based on artificial intelligence, this multi-country exploratory research study was carried out. It concludes by providing information about the usage of four main voice activated virtual assistants (Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana and Alexa), comparisons between virtual assistant most frequently used and countries, and finally it establishes the base for further research activities.