Amazon voice assistant Alexa gets longform speaking skills to sound more natural
This feature, which was introduced back in November has now been rolled out to developers in the US.
Your Amazon Alexa-enabled Echo devices may soon get longform speaking styles in order to sound more natural than ever. This feature, which was introduced back in November has now been rolled out to developers in the US. It however, depends on the developer how and when this new speaking style is implemented in an Alexa application.
"Starting today, you can use a new long-form Alexa speaking style to create a more natural and engaging experience for content such as news articles or blogs," states Amazon on its developer website. "Powered by a deep-learning text-to-speech model, the long-form speaking style enables Alexa to speak with more natural pauses while going from one paragraph to the next or even from one dialog to another between different characters," it adds.
The new speaking style will be useful particularly in situations when users want the content on a web page read out to them.
This comes in addition to two other Alexa capabilities that is introduced for developers. The e-commerce firm is extending the availability of speaking styles to select Amazon Polly voices. For those unaware, Amazon Polly is an AWS AI service that will let developers create 'life-like' speech in 29 languages. Furthermore, developers can now use 10 additional Amazon Polly voices to make their Alexa skills more feature-rich.
The firm has also given some audio samples, giving an idea of what you will hear from your Echo devices when the developers roll it out.
While all this is for developers, Amazon is also introducing features for end users as well. Late last month Alexa got the ability to help diagnose cases of coronavirus infection for US citizens. Queries such as - "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?" will prompt the voice assistant to ask about your symptoms, travel history and possible exposure situations to the virus.