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Amazon demos Alexa reading a bedtime story in the voice of a boy's deceased grandma

ZDNet

Amazon's intelligent, voice-enabled assistant Alexa has become an integral part of everyday experiences. Alexa gets more than 1 billion requests per week, Amazon said Wednesday, while customers have access to more than 100,000 Alexa skills. Now, the technology giant is developing a new capability for Alexa, so she can help you remember loved ones who have passed away: the ability to communicate with others' voices. On Wednesday at the re:MARS conference (Amazon's event for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space), Amazon's Rohit Prasad briefly described the skill. He showed a short video of a boy speaking to an Amazon Echo speaker.


Alexa goes down the conversational rabbit hole – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence

Onstage at re:Mars this week, Amazon showcased a developing Alexa feature meant to mimic the flow of natural language. Conversation between two humans rarely follows some predefined structure. It goes to strange and unexpected places. One topic segues into another, as participants inject their lived experience. In a demo, a conversation about trees turns to one about hiking and parks. In the context of the company's AI, senior vice president and head scientist for Alexa, Rohit Prasad, refers to the phenomenon as "conversation exploration."


Amazon's Alexa gets a new brain on Echo, becomes smarter via AI and aims for ambience

#artificialintelligence

Amazon is making Alexa smarter with natural turn-taking, having conversations with multiple people, natural language understanding, and the ability to be taught by customers. The first target is the smart home, but Alexa for Business is also likely to follow. Also: When is Prime Day 2020? The Alexa overhaul and artificial intelligence improvements were outlined as Amazon launched its latest batch of Echo devices. Amazon's new Echo devices are evolving to be more smart home edge computing devices.


Amazon Unveils Novel Alexa Dialog Modeling for Natural, Cross-Skill Conversations : Alexa Blogs

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Today, customer exchanges with Alexa are generally either one-shot requests, like "Alexa, what's the weather?", or interactions that require multiple requests to complete more complex tasks. An Alexa customer planning a family movie night out, for example, must interact independently with multiple skills to find a list of local theaters playing a particular movie, identify a restaurant near one of them, and then purchase movie tickets, book a table, and perhaps order a ride. The cognitive burden of carrying information across skills -- such as time, number of people, and location -- rests with the customer. "We envision a world where customers will converse more naturally with Alexa: seamlessly transitioning between skills, asking questions, making choices, and speaking the same way they would with a friend, family member, or co-worker," says Rohit Prasad, Alexa vice president and head scientist. "Our objective is to shift the cognitive burden from the customer to Alexa."


Amazon's Alexa will ask humans questions using a new 'teachable' AI

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon just gave Alexa a mind of its own by enabling it to ask humans questions. The tech giant is set to add'teachable' artificial intelligence to the virtual assistant, allowing it to ask questions in order to understand the contextual conversation and learn from its owners. During the firm's annual product launch event, Amazon also introduced natural turn taking, which allows users to speak to Alexa with using a wake wording to provide'more natural and expressive' conversations. Rohit Prasad, vice president of Amazon, said: 'You can ask'Alexa, join my conversation,' and Alexa will join in the conversation to help you and friend decide what pizza to order, or get a movie recommendation for a night at home with your family.' Amazon is set to add'teachable' artificial intelligence to the virtual assistant, allowing it to ask questions in order to understand the contextual conversation and learn from its owners Prasad explained that Amazon has been working years to advance Alexa, noting to teach the assistant instantaneously took three to four years to complete.