Know All About Alexa and its Flexible Functionalities

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Alexa is an artificial intelligence (AI) service operated by Amazon’s robust cloud computing platform. It was launched in the world at the end of 2014 when Amazon released the Echo Smart Speaker. Alexa and Echo are presently available in more than 40 countries around the world, with Brazil becoming the most relatively new addition in late 2018. In early 2019, Amazon recorded more than 100 million Alexa-enabled smart devices in use across the globe — ranging from first-party Echo speakers to third-party devices.

Some are also a little uncertain about the distinctions between Alexa and the Echo. While Alexa is the AI software, Echo is the actual interface used to communicate with Alexa. 

People can benefit from Alexa’s functionality by giving voice commands to “smart” gadgets such as the Echo Speaker to produce the desired effects. For example, users can ask Alexa to play their favorite music, provide scores for tennis matches, check weather reports or news reports in general. Along with this, Alexa can also automate and protect their home, connect with friends and family, and much more. 

Whenever you ask Alexa any question, what you do is connect with a cloud-based service. Amazon has developed the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to imitate real conversations, but you are only using intuitive voice commands to get this service to execute basic tasks. “Alexa” is just the “wake word” that prompts the service to pay attention to your voice. For most users, you only have to say a wake-up call to get a response. As per Amazon’s Developer, the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is staying in the cloud. Amazon’s AVS is an intelligent speech recognition service and a natural language processing service. The service can be used to allow the voice of any connected computer that has a microphone and a speaker. This is why one can see Alexa on headphones and other gadgets.

Alexa Skills

Amazon's Alexa app has two new features for your car - CNET

Alexa can do quite a bit without tuning or personalization; but, if you want to extend its functionality any more, consider allowing some Alexa Skills. The skills in the Alexa app help you to configure your Echo device to cater to your requirements.

There are many skills in the app’s Skills section, including Connected Car, Food & Drink, Smart House, and Travel & Transportation, Music & Audio. To begin with, you just need to select Enable Skill when you’ve discovered one that’s right for you-or you can ask Alexa to switch on skills with a voice command.

Some would enable you to connect to a current account or to use a different subscription.

Few skills are developed by Amazon and its related partners, but a large number have been produced by third parties. Independent developers and major corporations have published skills for Alexa to help you do stuff like order a pizza or book an Uber.

Alexa and Smart Homes 

Trucos y comandos para sacarle provecho al asistente Alexa

Smart home automation has arisen as one of Alexa’s most critical fields of influence. It’s not only about asking for weather and playing music with fancy voice control – but it’s also about linking and managing other gadgets in your house.

For example, you can see your Ring Video Doorbell on your Echo Display like you can with your Arlo cameras. You can attach Alexa to your Philips Hue or other light bulbs, such as Ikea, to turn it on or off with a speech, or connect it to your heating controls so that you can check and adjust the temperature in your home. 

In this way, Alexa is a perfect smart home controller-and once attached to Alexa, it can be accessed by anything that supports Alexa voice commands. Some Echo systems take this step further by providing Zigbee support, which will allow you to attach and set up smart home devices directly without the need for a different app or hub for that gadget.

Alexa’s Voice

Expedia Turns to Amazon Alexa for Its First Attempt at Voice Search – Skift

Alexa does not sound like you if you are not a native English speaker or if you are from somewhere else in the United States or the United Kingdom.

The good news is that you can change Alexa’s voice to a range of English accents, from Southern US to the UK, or to a number of other languages, including French, Spanish and Italian.

Amazon has also recently added famous voices that you can purchase for your Echo, including actor Samuel L. Jackson, who can do stuff including saying jokes and sending simple weather forecasts.

You can alter the voice of Alexa by following the steps below.

  • Open the app for Alexa.
  • Go to your Devices. This is the house-shaped icon on the bottom right of the screen.
  • Select your device. If you have several devices, pick the one you want to alter.
  • Scroll down to the section on language. It will be set to English (United States) by default.
  • Choose your language or dialect. Alexa can speak many English accents from around the world, including:

           Canadian English
           Indian English
           Accents from Australia and New Zealand
           British Accent
           Next, click on OK. 

  • Note: If you change Alexa’s voice, you may be warned that some of Alexa’s skills and capabilities will no longer be available.
  • Stay patient while the system moves to a new language or accent.
  • Alexa will now be able to speak English with a regional accent.

Here’s how to change the name of Alexa:

  • Open the Alexa app on your iOS or Android smartphone.
  • Open the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner.
  • Click Settings.
  • Pick the system that you want to alter.
  • Click the Word Wake button.
  • Click and open the drop-down menu where you can select between “Amazon,” “Echo,” and “Computer.”
  • Choose your preferred alternative to Alexa.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you change Alexa’s voice to Samuel L Jackson?

We swear, using Samuel L. Jackson to voice Alexa is Amazon's best new idea - GeekWire

To change Alexa’s voice to Samuel L. Jacksons’s, you have to say “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L Jackson”. Jackson won’t totally take over Alexa’s voice. You have to request him by saying “Alexa, ask Samuel L Jackson” and then continue with a question. He won’t be able to function as well as Alexa normally does, but can still do plenty.

How do I turn up Alexa’s voice?

To turn up Alexa’s voice,

  • Open the Alexa app.
  • Select the Menu icon which is on the top left corner of the screen.
  • Click on Settings.
  • Choose Device Settings and tap on the Echo device that you wish to change.
  • Regulate the audio slider to alter the volume.

Who is the person behind the voice of Alexa?

Alison Atwell is the link in the dialogue between humans and machines: she is a Voice User Interface (VUI) designer at Amazon, where she teaches Alexa and directs interactions between businesses and millions of users who speak to Alexa every day.

What is Super Alexa mode?

Super Alexa mode is an “Easter Egg” or secret cheating code that places Alexa in a secret mode. The mode will appear on the screen and even tell you “Mega Alexa Mode Enabled,” but it doesn’t do anything. It pays tribute to the old “Cheat Codes” that were initially available in many of the original games created by Nintendo.

How do you get Alexa to whisper to you?

If you want Alexa to whisper to you, 

  • Go to the Alexa app on your Android phone or iPhone.
  • Select the menu button on the top left of the app.
  • Choose “Settings.”
  • Click on “Alexa Account” at the top of the screen.
  • Choose “Alexa Voice Responses.”
  • Enable the “Whispered Responses” mode.

Is there a monthly fee for Alexa?

You don’t have to pay a monthly fee for Amazon’s Alexa voice service. In fact, you don’t even need to pay to own a special device to use Alexa. Just download the Alexa app for your smartphone and talk to Alexa by pressing the blue ring.

How do you shut down Alexa for the night?

If you want to turn off Alexa for the night:

Press the microphone on/off button on the top of the unit. The ring will turn red.

Once the speaker is off, the light will turn red. Alexa will stop responding to the wake word until you switch the microphone back on, therefore shutting down for the night.

Can I listen to conversations through Alexa?

If you want to listen to the Alexa recordings, simply select the text you want to hear, and then click the small Play icon. Alexa will sometimes flag when it thinks an audio recording wasn’t intended for her. The text won’t display at that very moment, but you can still hear the audio file.

With Alexa in a position to do too much about you, you may be concerned about the knowledge that Amazon has about you and your routines. Current privacy controversies in the internet world have raised legitimate questions regarding digital users’ interests.

Fortunately, Amazon provides one of the most stringent privacy protections in the market through its Amazon Privacy Hub. Here, users can check and remove voice files, set limitations and permissions for what Amazon data can gather, and get a better idea of how their data is being used. You can do this in the Alexa app, on the internet, and on specific Echo Show devices. Some Alexa systems, such as the Echo Show, still have covers that can cut off camera access.

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