Amazon Alexa developers get eight new voices

Developers today may already be using multiple voices in their skills, but the process of doing so is more cumbersome and rigid, as with mp3 file uploads.

The online retail giant said Wednesday that developers can now apply to test the voices, which were built to sound like U.S. English speakers. It lets developers choose a different voice by using the Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) and then specify which voice they would like to pick for their skills using the "voice name" tag. This new capability can help you enrich your skill's experience, making it more engaging for customers. Regardless of their quality, though, many users will likely appreciate the added diversity these voices could add to their favorite Alexa skills in the future.

But all this has been eased with Amazon Polly, which can determine the differences within various homographs and offers natural-sounding voices.

Amazon began a push for the use of Alexa in the workplace previous year, launching its Alexa for Business service at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Re:Invent partner and user conference in Las Vegas.

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

Amazon is rolling out a new update to the Alexa app that will enable users to set Alexa as their default voice assistant on Android devices. Those who are not chosen for the preview will still receive information on using Amazon Polly voices in Alexa skills when it is available.

The bank used the Alexa Skills Kit to create the services.

Vanessa Coleman

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