Amazon Alexa will soon be able to respond to multiple people, ask questions and generally be better at conversations

By: |
September 25, 2020 4:38 PM

The changes that would be introduced to Alexa were shown in a series of demos.

Alexa’s responses also became more natural and responsive.Alexa’s responses also became more natural and responsive.

Alexa: E-commerce giant Amazon announces big updates to its Alexa! During its event on Thursday, Amazon announced a range of improvements to its smart assistant Alexa. The intelligent personal assistant would now be better at responding to multiple people, be smarter in asking questions for clarification and also change its tone according to the conversation taking place. The changes that would be introduced to Alexa were shown in a series of demos.

Among the first big changes is the fact that now Alexa would learn directly from the response to a clarifying question. In the demonstration Alexa was commanded to set the lights to “Rohit’s reading mode”. Since Rohit’s reading mode was not something included in Alexa’s preference settings, Alexa asked a clarifying question. “What do you mean by ‘Rohit’s reading mode’?” When the demonstrator responded with his preferred light percentage, the preference was automatically stored in Alexa’s settings for future reference.

Apart from that, Alexa’s responses also became more natural and responsive. Alexa would now be able to adapt her responses based on the context of the conversation taking place around her, and would accordingly adjust her stress on certain words, her tone and would even add pauses and… wait for it.. breaths! Amazon is calling this speaking style adaptation and the giant hopes that it would lead to a joyful experience for users. The update would be rolled out later this year.

In another ground-breaking technology advancement, Amazon has been able to now include a feature with which Alexa would be able to join a conversation with multiple people, even when the conversation is a chaos with people speaking over each other. The demonstration showed that when Alexa was asked to join the conversation with a simple command – “Alexa, join my conversation” – Alexa became a part of the conversation and was able to understand when she was being addressed and when the humans were interacting with each other, all without the users needing to address her using her wake word. This allowed Alexa to give her inputs whenever needed in the conversation, and just like that, instead of two, there seemed to be three people involved in the interaction. This capability would be released next year, Amazon said.

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