Amazon introduced its own digital voice assistant, Alexa, back in 2014 and is available for both iOS and Android. Originally made popular by its incorporation in the Amazon Echo line of speakers. Amazon is now putting in an effort to make the assistant’s sound as much as a real human as possible.
Till now, Alexa maintained an even monotonous voice. This will now change with the new Speech Synthesis Markup Language introduced by Amazon in late April 2017. Now, Alexa will be able to whisper, change its speed when speaking and even use swear words. Developers are also given the options to add pauses in between dialogues, alter the pronunciation of a word, make Alexa spell a word out, add audio snippets to be spoken and insert special words and phrases into their skill.
Amazon claims that this will make the digital assistant’s voice provide a more natural voice experience, one that is expected of a real human. This is understandable, with all these additions to its speech functionality, Alexa will surely sound more human.
Though such a thing would never cross most people’s minds that their digital assistant sounds robotic, it is an AI after all. Amazon still, however, has not released a preview of how Alexa will sound with the ability to articulate words as it pronounces them, whether whispering, emphasizing or cursing, though the source code has been given to developers. Amazon also stated that it is holding a webinar on the 18t of May 2017.
The webinars will deal with the new source code for the improved speaking abilities of Alexa. This will indeed make the digital assistant’s voice pass on as that of a real human, generating a better experience for users, one they never thought they needed. The new features will be available for developers in the US, UK and Germany.