Starting in the coming weeks, Amazon says that Alexa will ask questions of users to help the assistant better understand what they mean. Alexa will also soon be able to change intonation depending on the context of back-and-forth conversations, building on Amazon’s advances in neural text-to-speech technology.
In Follow-Up Mode Alexa will let multiple people join conversations with without having to use a wake word for every utterance. Called Natural Turn Taking — Alexa will leverage acoustic and linguistic cues to determine whether a request is directed towards it.
Alexa’s sound detection is expanding as well, with recognition of things like a baby crying, barking dogs, and the sound of snoring. Later this year, customers will be able to choose to set up routines that can kick off when Alexa detects one of those sounds.MORE