Amazon launches 8 new voices for Alexa Skills

Amazon launches 8 new voices for Alexa Skills

All the voices are said to be in U.S. English and carry a more natural tonality, compared to the original Amazon Alexa voice. Developers may want to use the preview to give different voices to characters in games and stories, for example.

Amazon Polly enables developers to provide their applications with an enhanced visual experience such as speech-synchronized facial animation or karaoke-style word highlighting. With voice becoming a more popular input, businesses can use Polly to differentiate their offerings on Alexa.

Developers today may already be using multiple voices in their skills, but the process of doing so is more cumbersome and rigid, as with mp3 file uploads. Polly uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesise speech that sounds like a human voice. "It's as easy as that".

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More recently, Amazon launched the "Remember This" feature for Alexa, essentially giving the virtual assistant a memory.

Academics discovered that they could register voice assistant apps (called "skills" by Amazon and "actions" by Google) that trigger on very similar phrases.

The feature now only allows developers to select from eight U.S. English voices, which means it could be some time before multi-voice Alexa Skills make their way to Canada. Skills that drive high customer engagement can also lead to a payday for developers through Alexa Developer Rewards.

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