Alexa


It's Official: Amazon is Putting Alexa to Work in the Office - InformationWeek

@machinelearnbot

It's no surprise that Amazon plans to push its Alexa speech recognition capability beyond the home where Alexa-powered Echo-connected speakers are used by millions of people to order take out, buy stuff from Amazon.com, order Uber rides, and play music, all using voice control. Everywhere, the home, the car, the office," Tom Taylor, Amazon's senior vice president of Alexa told a session at the company's annual AWS RE:Invent conference in Las Vegas last week. The Seattle Mariners, for example, installed Alexa in the 56 luxury suites at Safeco Field so customers can easily order food and drinks, Charlie Kindel, director of Alexa Home, noted during the same session. So, Alexa is already showing up in the workplace. Last year AWS made two key pieces of technology available to software builders to use however they wanted They were Amazon Lex for incorporating speech recognition into software and Polly, which does the same with text-to-speech recognition.


Google Home Max: Google's max effort pays off in powerful smart speaker

USATODAY

If you care more about your smart speaker's sound than which digital assistant it employs, the new Google Home Max speaker should be on your holiday short list. After days of pumping an eclectic range of music through Google's $399 speaker -- from AC/DC to the Three Tenors -- it's clear the Google Home Max is in a class by itself when it comes to filling a home or apartment with sounds even an audiophile could appreciate. The downsides: It's big, heavy, cord-powered and not particularly portable. Admittedly, for many people the decision to purchase this or that voice-activated smart speaker has often boiled down to which AI-infused digital assistant you're most comfortable engaging with in your home, most likely Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant. But when music is the priority, different features come into play.


These popular devices keep a recording of everything you ask them -- here's how to find it and delete it

#artificialintelligence

Google Home and the Amazon Echo Dot both provide a variety of services that can help you out around the house and entertain you. But to accomplish this task, they also keep audio recordings of everything you have ever asked them. It's a little bit creepy, but both companies say this history is important to help the devices learn and serve you better. If this still bothers you, here's how to find the recordings and delete them. Following is a transcript of the video.


The Best 2017 Holiday Tech Deals: Audio, Gaming, TVs, Cameras

WIRED

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday … they're over and done, but the holiday deals continue. If you're still on the hunt for affordable gift ideas, or just want to treat yo' self to some new gear, look no further. We've gathered our favorite deals from around the web. Also be sure to read our many Holiday Gift Guides. If you own a PS4, you need PS Plus to play online.


Amazon Alexa cannot be relied on for Christmas shopping

Daily Mail

It was a few weeks before Christmas and time to put my voice assistant to the test: Could I just shout out the gifts I needed to buy without having to get on a smartphone or computer? Alexa, the virtual assistant inside my Echo Dot, is really good at reordering stuff I already bought on Amazon. But asking it to order new items was trickier: I had to be precise and know exactly what I wanted to buy. A test by an AP reporter finds that the virtual assistant Alexa inside the Echo Dot is good at reordering stuff bought previously on Amazon. But asking it to order new items was trickier, and it's definitely not for browsing.


What happens when you use Amazon's Alexa for holiday shopping

USATODAY

Amazon Alexa has never sounded or looked better. NEW YORK – It was a few weeks before Christmas and time to put my voice assistant to the test: Could I just shout out the gifts I needed to buy without having to get on a smartphone or computer? Alexa, the virtual assistant inside my Echo Dot from Amazon, is really good at reordering stuff I already bought on the online shopping site. But asking it to order new items was trickier: I had to be precise and know exactly what I wanted to buy. There were times I had to rephrase orders until it could understand me.


Alexa can now wake you up with your favorite song

Mashable

Maybe, just maybe, Alexa's new alarms can make you actually enjoy getting up in the morning. You can finally instruct Amazon's voice assistant to wake you up in the morning with a song of your choice. Yes, if you have a smartphone, you could do this already. But unlike the iPhone, which limits your selection to your Apple Music library, Alexa can select songs from a number of platforms: Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, SiriusXM, and iHeartRadio. Whichever you're loyal to, you're set.


To hell with democrats and republicans both: Vote AI in 2020

#artificialintelligence

A virtual assistant, Alisa, is throwing its name in the hat to run against incumbent Vladmir Putin in the 2018 Russian presidential elections. First, let's just dismiss this idea as stupid. Okay, now let's give it a second look – because it actually makes a lot of sense. Maybe it's time to, academically at least, consider alternative political systems based on more logical and rational thought processes – like one that could elect Russia's Alisa. So far, the virtual assistant has over 80,000 "votes" from citizens requesting a place for it on the ballot next year.


Nuance expands Cognitive Innovation Group: A look at voice user interfaces, AI, analytics

ZDNet

The next wave of IT innovation will be powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. We look at the ways companies can take advantage of it and how to get started. Nuance said it will expand its Cognitive Innovation Group, which is designed to use machine learning and artificial intelligence for customer service, to enable more enterprises to experiment with conversational platforms and analytics. The company's Cognitive Innovation Group (CIG) initially launched Nuance's Nina platform in 2012 and later rolled out Nina Coach as a human assisted virtual assistant. Under CIG's new mission, the group will provide research and know-how for AI and predictive analytics via AI Engagement Services and AI Research teams.


Amazon's Alexa Wants You to Talk to Your Ads

WIRED

There are few electronic devices with which you cannot order a Domino's pizza. When the craving hits, you can place an order via Twitter, Slack, Facebook Messenger, SMS, your tablet, your smartwatch, your smart TV, and even your app-enabled Ford. This year, the pizza monger added another ordering tool: If your home is one of the 20 million with a voice assistant, you can place a regular order through Alexa or Google Home. Just ask for a large extra-cheese within earshot, and voila--your pizza is in the works. Sign up to get Backchannel's weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.