Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant will now be able to offer an even more natural voice experience. In a post on its blog, Amazon noted that developers will now be able to set Alexa to respond with either a happy, excited, disappointed or empathetic tone. As such, developers can now make Alexa respond in a manner that is more natural and contextual.
Amazon’s Catherine Gao writes in the post, “you can have Alexa respond in a happy/excited tone when a customer answers a trivia question correctly or wins a game. Similarly, you can have Alexa respond in a disappointed/empathetic tone when a customer asks for the sports score and their favorite team has lost. Early customer feedback indicates that overall satisfaction with the voice experience increased by 30% when Alexa responded with emotions.”
The new speaking styles make use of Neural Text-to-Speech (NTTS) technology. The company notes that the developers can enable two different speaking styles in the US, namely news and music. In Australia, developers will be able to enable an Australia-specific news speaking style. Amazon has also given examples of how the new voices would work.
Amazon seems to be on a spree when it comes to launching new Alexa-powered devices. The company recently unveiled the Echo Flex, which is designed to be mounted on a wall. The device is currently available for pre-order for Rs 2,999 and deliveries are scheduled to begin from December 10 onwards. The Echo Flex features a 0.6-inch speaker, but features a 3.5mm audio jack that gives users the option to plug in a more powerful speaker. There is also a single USB Type-A port at the bottom that can be used to charge your phone.