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Amazon's Alexa can now recognize different voices and give personalized responses
13 October 2017, 12:48 | Bernard Bryant
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The announcement comes as Amazon continues to work on its software features as it widens its lead in the smart speakers market. This update means Alexa will be able to recognize who's speaking and switch accounts seamlessly. Google's smart speaker Google Home had received the voice recognition ability back in April.
At launch, the feature will support Flash Briefings, shopping, Amazon Music's family plan and Alexa to Alexa calling.
Around 11% or so of USA consumers own an Amazon Echo or Google Home, making the percentages relatively small but the numbers high. Smart speakers also can be connected to smart home appliances such as lighting, thermostats and home security systems, so they can be controlled with spoken commands. The company's new additions to the Home line of speakers (the Mini and the Max) ship with the functionality as well. Amazon further mentions that the voice recognition feature will get "smarter over time". Select Your Voice in settings and then walk through a series of demos that familiarize the software with your voice. You'll have to repeat ten sentences over to train Alexa that it's your voice. The new feature started to roll out yesterday.
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"Once you set up the feature, Alexa will learn your voice (versus your spouse/partner/roommate's voice) and be able to deliver a more personalized experience", Amazon explained.
Alexa, can now recognise different voices to ensure that the responses are personalised for each user.
There is cloud storage for training data so that Alexa devices purchased in the future will recognize users. Putting a device on sale is a normal business practice, but the timing of it raises questions. The screen-equipped Echo is now available for $199.99, compared to $229.99 earlier.
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