Smart assistants have come a long way since their first debut, constantly being upgraded to carry out more functions and commands, but one thing that seems to never have changed is their robotic tones. Now, Amazon is trying to improve on this with its latest Alexa update, allowing interactions with the assistant to sound more natural than ever.
To do so, Amazon has created a whole new range of intonations which allow Alexa to better convey emotions when speaking to you. Not only can it now express excitement in varying degrees when announcing good news to you, it can also express disappointment or empathy when announcing something you may be less happy about. Users are also given the new option of a news reading voice when Alexa is delivering the news to you, making it sound more reporter-like, as well as a music voice, which taps into a more lyrical and playful tone.
According to the company, these new functions are powered by its in-house Neural Text-to-Speech technology, and with its implementation, “overall satisfaction with the voice experience increased by 30 percent when Alexa responded with emotions.” For now, the update seems to be available exclusively in the US, but stay tuned as it becomes steadily available globally.