Amazon continuously works on Alexa to make it more user-friendly by adding more skills to its voice assistant service. Recently Alexa started understanding the Hindi language and now it can even imitate human emotions also.
From now onwards Amazon Voice Assistant Alexa will be able to express emotions like disappointment or excitement in order to provide a more natural and intuitive voice experience. The company has introduced this new Alexa Emotions and speaking style capability so that it may sound more human-like to the users. Now the Voice Assistant will be able to reply with either a happy/excited or a disappointed/empathetic tone. These features will first be made available in the US and Australia.
According to the company, the new emotional ability will be relevant to skills in the gaming and sports categories. The users will be able to hear Alexa respond in a way that is more suitable for a particular type of content such as news and music.
“Speaking styles are curated text-to-speech voices designed to create a more delightful customer experience for specific content. For example, the news speaking style makes Alexa’s voice sound similar to what you hear from TV news anchors and radio hosts.”, said the company.
The company also said that the Alexa emotions make use of Neural TTS (NTTS) technology, the text-to-speech technology allows it to enable more natural-sounding speech. For instance, it responds in a happy or excited tone when the user answers a question correctly or wins a game. Whereas it responds in a disappointment or empathetic tone when the user loses a game.
In the US the users will be able to enable 2 different speaking styles for news and in Australia, the users can enable a specific news speaking style. The company says that news and music speaking styles modifies the voice of Alexa as per the respective content being delivered by varying aspects of speech like pitch. She would be able to know on which word it has to emphasize more as well the timing of pauses.
Amazon added, “While conducting ‘blind listening’ tests, the news style was perceived to be 31% more natural than Alexa’s standard voice and the music style was perceived to be 84% more natural.”
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