Rivalling Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, Amazon is upgrading Alexa with the power to talk in not only one or two however eight completely different voices. Builders can utilise the brand new improvement to simply give distinct voices to their Alexa expertise. The brand new voices can be found via text-to-speech service referred to as Amazon Polly that the Seattle, Washington-headquartered firm announced back in December 2016 as part of the Amazon AI platform.
Builders trying to uplift their Alexa expertise can use the brand new voices by making use of for the latest developer preview. Not like the unique Amazon Polly portfolio that features voices in numerous worldwide languages, Alexa has initially obtained eight US English voices. However, after all, the brand new addition brings quite a lot of female and male voices that you simply’d quickly take heed to via Alexa expertise developed by third-party builders. In the end, the arrival of the brand new voices is predicted to make the expertise extra participating for customers and can assist builders create new fashions, together with journey tales and video games with completely different voice profiles for every character.
The recent change doesn’t suggest that builders weren’t ready so as to add new voices to their Alexa expertise beforehand. There have been strategies equivalent to including a number of voices utilizing MP3 information. Nevertheless, the method was troublesome in nature as there weren’t any pre-defined fashions to implement new voices.
However all this has been eased with Amazon Polly, which may decide the variations inside numerous homographs and provides natural-sounding voices. It lets builders select a unique voice by utilizing the Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) after which specify which voice they wish to choose for his or her expertise utilizing the “voice identify” tag. By this fashion, builders now not want to make use of any audio information so as to add new voices and as an alternative make the modifications utilizing the textual content.
The most recent transfer transforms Alexa right into a extra compelling voice assistant mannequin than earlier than. It additionally makes the competitors harder for Google Assistant that was previewed with six new voices which are derived from Google’s Wavenet at I/O 2018 earlier this month. Google additionally showcased the voice of American singer John Legend that’s anticipated to hit Assistant later this yr “for sure contexts”.