Amazon Alexa developers get eight new voices

You can now make Amazon Alexa as default voice assistant on your Android phone

An Alexa app, pre-installed on the computer will let the users call up the assistant and see any information like weather forecasts, music albums and more on display. For example, in an adventure story or game, developers can give distinct voices to different characters.

Amazon is giving this choice to developers through their Polly text-to-speech service. Using Amazon Polly, you can choose a different voice for any utterance by using the Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) and specifying an Amazon Polly voice using the "voice name" tag. The point of having access to multiple Alexa voices is so developers can build skills (apps) in which users interact with a variety of voices instead of just one.

Academics discovered that they could register voice assistant apps (called "skills" by Amazon and "actions" by Google) that trigger on very similar phrases.

Amazon announced a developer preview for adding eight Amazon Polly voices to Alexa skills. The text-to-speech service today is capable of things like whispering, speech marks, using a timbre effect, and dynamic range compression - all which make the voices sound more natural. The voices are only available in U.S. English, and include a mix of both male and female, according to Amazon Polly's website.

More recently, Amazon launched the "Remember This" feature for Alexa, essentially giving the virtual assistant a memory.

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