Amazon talked about new features for its Alexa voice assistant. The device will now speak more naturally and will also adapt its responses to children.
Amazon has announced updates to its voice assistant Alexa that will make the assistant “more human.” For example, the user will be able to correct the device if it heard something wrong. To do this, you need to say the phrase “Alexa, this is wrong” or “Alexa, stop.” The assistant will then correct herself or ask an additional question to “fill in the gaps in her understanding.” Amazon calls this feature trainable AI – it will make the device much smarter and allow it to learn over time.
Alexa will also sound like a real person – the device will even pause when people usually pause to inhale. The feature is based on Amazon’s Neural Text-to-Speech technology, launched last year for more natural-sounding voices. Alexa adapts its responses based on the context of the conversation and adjusts its tone or emphasizes certain words. Amazon will implement them before the end of 2020.
Alexa will also have new voice profiles for kids. The device will make the responses more friendly and will suggest games, skill development, books, and music. According to Amazon, voice profile previews will begin in the coming months and will be available on all devices, not just the Echo Dot Kids Edition.
Amazon also announced an update to its privacy settings for user data to give them more control over the information stored on the device. Alexa can now be asked to “delete everything I said” or choose a setting that doesn’t save voice recordings. In this case, they will be deleted after each request is processed.