Amazon’s Alexa becomes a better conversationalist and can now ask you questions, too – TechCrunch
At its annual hardware event Amazon Today announced new features for Alexa’s personal assistant that allow it to become more personalized, as it can now ask clarifying questions and later use that personalized data to interact with the user. In addition, Alexa can now take part in a conversation and start a mode in which you don’t always have to say “Hey Alexa”. This allows multiple users to interact with Alexa and the system will alert you when it’s appropriate (or not – as we haven’t tested this yet).
As Amazon VP and Senior Scientist Rohit Prasad The system for asking questions and personalizing answers uses an in-depth, learning-based approach that allows Alexa to acquire new concepts and actions based on customer insights. Whatever it learns is personalized and only applies to that individual customer.
For example, if you ask Alexa to set the temperature to your “favorite setting,” she will ask what that setting is.
Additionally, Alexa can now adjust his speaking style based on the context based on the team’s ability to better understand how to create a natural sounding voice for Alexa. In an example today, Amazon showed what that means when you ask it to play music, for example, with Alexa having a little more oomph in her voice compared to her normal, somewhat monotonous voice.
However, the real breakthrough is conversational mode. To make this possible, users need to say, “Alexa, join our conversation.” In today’s demo, the company showed how Alexa can work when you order a pizza, for example. One of the actresses said she wasn’t that hungry and wanted a smaller pizza. Alexa automatically changed this order for you. The team calls this “natural twist”.