Amazon is giving Alexa emotions like excitement and disappointment
- Alexa will now be able to respond to US users with emotions: specifically, with a "happy/excited" or a "disappointed/empathetic" tone. These emotions can be expressed at "high," "medium" or "low" intensities.
- The previously monotone virtual assistant's developer, Amazon, announced the news in a blog post published Tuesday.
- According to Amazon, Alexa's emotions use the company's own text-to-speech technology. The upshot is that Alexa can respond with disappointment if a user answers a question incorrectly, for example, or excitedly if a user wins a game.
- In the same blog post, Amazon also said Alexa has been given 2 additional speaking styles: "News" and "Music."
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For some, it might be the stuff of nightmares, but the day has come: Alexa can now express emotion.
In a blog post published Tuesday, Amazon - which develops Alexa - announced that the virtual assistant will now be able to respond to US users with emotions: specifically, with a "happy/excited" or a "disappointed/empathetic" tone.For example, Alexa can respond with a disappointed tone if a user answers a question incorrectly, for example, or respond excitedly if a user wins a game.
According to the blog post, Alexa's emotions use Neural TTS (Neural Text-To-Speech) technology, a form of text-to-speech tech which Amazon developed as a feature of Polly, Amazon's pre-existing text-to-speech offering.
Alexa will also be able to respond in degrees. Both excitement and disappointment can be expressed at low, medium, and high intensities. In the example embedded above, a US female voice speaks briefly in a noticeably upbeat tone.
Amazon also said Alexa has been given two additional speaking styles: "News" and "Music," while an Australian news speaking style is also available to Australian Alexa users. Both the "News" and "Music" voices come in two variants Amazon calls "Standard Voice and "Speaking Style."
This is Alexa's first foray into what you might call expressiveness, though.