Amazon is updating Alexa to have more natural interactions

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The latest announcements could aid Amazon in bolstering usage of its voice assistant platform. At the moment, voice assistants are used primarily for activities like checking the weather, receiving news updates, or making calls. The development of new experiences that expand voice assistants' ability to complete more complex interactions will likely help voice assistants and smart speakers occupy a growing amount of consumers' time. The voice app ecosystem is booming. In the US, the number of Alexa skills alone surpassed 25,000 in January 2018, up from just 7,000 the previous January, in categories ranging from music streaming services, to games, to connected home tools.


How to Setup Google Assistant Directory Page for Personalized Search

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It talks about linking the Google Assistant straight from the Google search bar and positioning it as your own personal Google – a way of pointing to personalized search. Google's recent announcement tells more about what the Google Assistant can do for you, emphasizing the number of models supported and how it makes over a million Actions possible. Google seems to be going beyond its original plans for Assistant and putting effort into expanding its powerful natural language search capabilities. The competitive arena of voice and personalized search has several major challengers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, each vying for dominance of the smart assistant and smart device market. At this time, Google continues to depend on structured data markup and AMP to assist in providing content matches for the Assistant, meaning that search marketers who invest in both may find a welcome competitive edge. Improvements in Voice Interactions with Technology: Enrique Alfonseca, Staff Research Scientist for Google Assistant wrote a December 21, 2017 article titled the Evaluation of Speech for the Google Assistant. As Google often does, it clued publishers, webmasters, and business owners into new digital marketing changes ahead of time, especially as the mobile-first world comes alive. The information is helpful as search engine optimization spends offer the best ROI is SEO's remain fluid and adjust to maximize new opportunities. Industry wide adoption: Yesterday, January 10, 2017, DISH unveiled its compatibility with the Google Assistant.


Google lets developers build 'Conversation Actions' for Google Home

ZDNet

Developers can now build Conversation Actions for Google Home. Google is opening up Google Home for third-party developers who want to engage with customers through the voice-activated Google Assistant. Developers can now build "Conversation Actions " for Google Home -- Google's voice-activated speaker, which competes with Amazon's Echo -- using Actions on Google, the developer platform for the Google Assistant. Once a Conversation Action is ready, users simply need to ask Google Home for a specific action by name to be connected immediately -- there's no need to install an app or enable a skill. Experts in natural language processing can use the Conversation API to process raw strings of spoken text from the user, and then they can use the Actions SDK to build an action.


Google puts AI at core of mobile users' interactions with businesses

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai wowed the audience with a demonstration of a Google Assistant natural-language bot called Duplex that the company is refining. Assistant users in the future will be able to book appointments and reservations by asking the app to handle the task of making a phone call and speaking to a live human being. Assistant convinced people at a hair salon and restaurant that they were speaking to a real person. In the shorter term, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Domino's Pizza are among the companies working with Google to bring voice ordering to Google Assistant on Android phones this summer. The voice-enabled app will remember a consumer's favorite order and submit it for pick-up or delivery, depending on the availability.


SR Labs Demonstrates Phishing and Eavesdropping Attacks on Amazon Echo and Google Home, Leads to Google Action Review and Widespread Outage - Update - Voicebot.ai

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Editor's Note: Updated at 6:34 pm EDT on October 21st to include Google's updated statement about the link between the discovered vulnerabilities and the Great Google Action Disappearance saga. Security Research Labs (SR Labs), "a Berlin-based hacking research collective and consulting think tank," revealed yesterday that it had created and received certification for several Alexa skills and Google Actions that exploited security vulnerabilities in the voice assistants. The firm discussed two specific attacks in a blog post related to phishing and eavesdropping. The former demonstrated how a developer, using the standard Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) or Actions on Google (AoG) software development kits, could develop a voice app that tricked a user into thinking that Alexa or Google Assistant were asking for their password to provide a system update. Using similar developer tools, the latter attack could leave a microphone open after a skill seemingly had stopped and conduct passive listening for private information.