Is Alexa human

Amazon improves voice assistant Alexa: More like a human

She can order pizza and monitor the home: the voice assistant Alexa has learned a few new tricks. Amazon has also improved data protection.

Amazon wants to enable more natural conversations with its voice assistant Alexa. For one, the software should sound more like a human, said Amazon manager Rohit Prasad. In addition, Alexa should be able to be involved in simple conversations in the household.

As an example, Amazon demonstrated the situation in which a pizza is selected and ordered - Alexa listed the options and responded to user decisions. The innovations will initially be available in English.

New "Echo" models have a spherical shape

Amazon also presented new models of its networked "Echo" speakers in an online presentation. The entire model range is now round like a ball. So far, most of the "Echo" models since the first generation have been in the shape of a cylinder. The idea of ​​spherical speakers was well received by consumers, said equipment boss Dave Limp. In addition, Amazon can use it to implement better sound.

The display of the new "Echo Show" model can now rotate so that the user can keep an eye on it, even when moving around the room. For this, the camera recognizes the shape of a person, but there is no face recognition, emphasized Limp. Amazon placed particular emphasis on a silent motor. Thanks to the rotation function, the "Echo Show" can now be better used as a security camera when on the move.

Additional chip for better speech recognition

The "Echo" devices now have an additional chip developed by Amazon that is tailored to machine learning, among other things for better speech recognition. The chip with the designation AZ1 will be combined with the main processor and should also be used in future Amazon devices, said Limp.

The most unusual thing about the new device that has just been introduced is a security camera from the subsidiary Ring, which can fly through the household as a mini drone to cover different rooms. According to Limp, it is intended for customers who do not want or cannot place several cameras in different rooms.

With Ring, Amazon also wants to get more into the car. A ring car alarm system with sensors and siren is available as a retrofit device. A camera should protect the car interior. In addition, Amazon also offers an interface for car manufacturers so that they can directly integrate ring security functions.

New online offer of video games

After competitors such as Google and Microsoft, Amazon is also starting an online offering of video games. The games actually run on the Group's servers and not on the user's devices and are streamed to their screen via a fast Internet connection. Amazon's business idea for the service called "Luna" are channels from various game providers that customers can subscribe to.

Amazon also makes it easier for Alexa users to delete their data. For example, you will be able to tell the voice assistant: "Alexa, delete everything I have ever said." A setting is also planned with which fresh voice recordings are immediately deleted. Like other providers of voice assistants, Amazon was criticized last year because employees listened to anonymized fragments of recordings in order to improve speech recognition.

In the future, Amazon wants to offset the power consumption of its Echo devices - based on estimates - with renewable energies. The devices should also get a mode with lower energy consumption.

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  • Subjects:
  • Digital,
  • Computer,
  • Amazon,
  • Internet,
  • Speaker,
  • Alexa,
  • Voice assistants,
  • Echo,
  • Privacy,
  • Smart home