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    Alexa, did I upset you? Amazon wants its voice assistant to be emotionally intelligent

    Synopsis

    The digital assistant’s emotional intelligence extends to its listening ability, too.

    Agencies
    Amazon has worked to improve upon its digital assistant’s monotone, and says customer satisfaction with the experience improved in tests of Alexa’s new range.
    By Matt Day

    Amazon.com Inc. is trying to break Alexa away from its robotic monotone, giving developers tools to make the software sound excited or disappointed.
    The company rolled out that capability Tuesday in an update to its market-leading home voice assistant, offering a range of options that take Alexa from quite excited to downright morose. The company said the tool may be useful in congratulating users on trivia wins, or consoling them on a sports team’s loss.

    The default Alexa voice generated by Amazon’s text-to-speech software has been a sore spot for some software developers who build skills, as Amazon calls Alexa applications, but had hoped for it to be more engaging and customisable. Amazon has worked to improve upon its digital assistant’s monotone, and says customer satisfaction with the experience improved in tests of Alexa’s new range.

    The digital assistant’s emotional intelligence extends to its listening ability, too. Earlier this year, Amazon developed a way for Alexa to detect when users were frustrated with a botched response to a music-related command, for example, that relies on measuring a speaker’s tone and word choice. The company has also contemplated putting emotion-detecting functionality into wearable devices.

    Amazon Wants To Take Over With Redesigned Echo, Smart Clocks, Microwave

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    On The Way To World Domination

    Amazon caused a few gasps at its Alexa event Thursday when it revealed it had 70 things to announce.

    The new products give Amazon a greater reach than ever before.

    Updates to the internet giant's Alexa-infused Echo smart speakers will allow them to tend to microwave cooking and even have "hunches" regarding what users may want or have forgotten.

    Alexa is even developing a personality, complete with a favorite pet or beer.

    Here's a round up all of the Alexa-infused products Amazon showcased, including speakers, an in-car device and, a microwave:


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