Monday, 22 October, 2018

Alexa gains eight new voices - but they're for developers for now

You can now make Amazon Alexa as default voice assistant on your Android phone Morgan Stanley uses Amazon Alexa to inform customers
Elijah Vega | 17 May, 2018, 00:33

The free voices are provided through Poly, the Amazon Web Services text-to-speech service.

This could include using multiple voices for different characters in a game, or simply having a voice other than the standard Alexa tone.

The online retail giant said Wednesday that developers can now apply to test the voices, which were built to sound like U.S. English speakers. With voice becoming a more popular input, businesses can use Polly to differentiate their offerings on Alexa.

The drivers are mass market smart security products from Nest, Hive and Netgear, which are building out their ecosystems with partnerships and acquisitions, such as the recent acquisition of Ring by Amazon. "It's as easy as that".

Crude gains as Israel and Iran clash after Trump's sanctions move
Since the Iran nuclear deal came into effect, Iranian oil output increased from 2.7 million to 3.8 million barrels per day. In the past, sanctions against Iran have cut the country's crude exports by around 1 million barrels a day.

Creating engaging skills can pay off: Developers can make money through Alexa skills using in-skill purchasing or Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills, the post noted.

Polly can speak in around 50 voices total in 24 languages, but only these eight are human sounding enough for the developer preview, which is for Skills in the US. Amazon will provide more information to those who are selected.

The bank has introduced three Alexa skills that enable customers to use voice commands to access information such as trading insights or ideas and content from the bank. Skills that drive high customer engagement can also lead to a payday for developers through Alexa Developer Rewards. With Alexa of course already in more than 20% of United States households it seems likely automakers will see this as a bigger selling point than the rarely used Cortana service.

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