Amazon Alexa developers get eight new voices

Apart from this, Amazon has also introduced Alexa Voice Shortcut Widget, that allows users to have access to Alexa at the tap of an icon.

The new Alexa voices are part of the company's Polly service, which developers use to build skills (apps) for Alexa that can recognize text and convert it to a voice that can beam out of an Alexa-powered device like the Amazon Echo smart speaker.

Now developers can already choose to use different voices by uploading their own audio files, but according to Amazon, the use of their Polly voice is better due to its being more natural-sounding. For example, you can give a different voice to each character in adventure stories and games.

More recently, Amazon launched the "Remember This" feature for Alexa, essentially giving the virtual assistant a memory. Polly uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesise speech that sounds like a human voice.

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While the speech engine today supports a couple dozen languages, only the U.S. English voices are being offered to Alexa developers at this time.

The bank used the Alexa Skills Kit to create the services.

Academics discovered that they could register voice assistant apps (called "skills" by Amazon and "actions" by Google) that trigger on very similar phrases. Those who are not chosen for the preview will still receive information on using Amazon Polly voices in Alexa skills when it is available.

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