Amazon might give Alexa more intelligent real-time translation powers

03 March, 2018, 06:12 | Author: Rolando Keller
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With visitors increasingly starting their browsing on Amazon instead of Google, the world's largest search engine has been linking up with a range of retailers in the US including Whole Foods, Costco and Walmart whose items are available through its shopping and delivery service Google Express.

People using Amazon's smart-assistant Alexa on Friday, either through an app or one of Amazon's many Echo devices, are finding that the typically attentive assistant isn't working as it normally does.

Alexa is the brains behind the Amazon Echo range of smart home speakers, but is also available as a smart assistant in a range of phones and Amazon's Fire TV devices. This has caused Alexa to become unresponsive with Echo products, as well as other devices that support the assistant - like the Ecobee4, for example. "Alexa, what do I say to the father of the bride at a wedding in Japan?" To a small degree, Alexa already does this-it's capable of translating basic words and phrases into Spanish, German, French, and Italian.

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It's a great idea, though the issue that comes with using a virtual assistant is having to use a voice command every time you want something translated - much like the translation in Google's Pixel Buds. Alexa will also be mindful of the Japanese culture, which is more formal and conservative than American culture. All good stuff, though one potentially game-changing skill that is coming to Alexa is real-time language translation.

Amazon hasn't commented on this report as yet so it's unclear how far along the development is on these capabilities and when we can expect them to go live.



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