Tag: Alexa

Amazon Alexa scientists find ways to improve speech and sound recognition

How do assistants like Alexa discern sound? The answer lies in two Amazon research papers scheduled to be presented at this year’s International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing in Aachen, Germany. Ming Sun, a senior speech scientist in the Alexa Speech group, detailed them this morning in a blog post. “We develop[ed] a […]

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Facebook Wants To Challenge Amazon, Apple, Google With Their Own Voice Assistant

At the moment, most of the major tech companies have their own digital voice assistants. Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, Google has Google Assistant, Microsoft has Cortana, and Samsung has Bixby. Unsurprisingly, Facebook now wants in on the action and according to a report from CNBC, they have heard from their sources that the […]

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Most businesses are not ready for voice searches

Amazon ushered in a new era of voice-first computing in mid-2015 when it launched the first Amazon Echo. Four years later, voice-activated assistants on myriad devices have proliferated widely, but Uberal, a location marketing company, found that few local businesses are ready to take advantage. In fact, only 4% have correct, up-to-date information on all […]

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Facebook is reportedly developing an AI assistant to take on Alexa and Google Assistant

Facebook is reportedly in the process to create its own AI assistant akin to Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, former employees told CNBC. The virtual assistant project is reportedly being managed by employees out of Facebook’s Redmond, Washington office and started last year. The first consumer electronic device made in-house by Facebook, Portal made its […]

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You Can Now Use Amazon’s Alexa to Control Apple Music on Select Sonos Speakers

If you have a select Sonos-branded speaker and use Apple Music, then today your device is getting a nice little trick thanks to Amazon Alexa support. Beginning today, both the Sonos Beam and the Sonos One speakers support using Amazon Alexa to control Apple Music with voice controls. That support is available in Ireland, the […]

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How to keep Alexa, Cortana, Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby from recording you

At their best, voice assistants from the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Samsung, and Amazon empower us to be more productive. They queue up our favorite songs, give us previews of our weekly agendas, and place phone calls to friends and loved ones. But they’re also recording the commands we utter for posterity (and in […]

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Logitech launches Alexa-enabled Harmony Express universal remote

Building on its past home entertainment controls, Logitech is launching the Logitech Harmony Express universal remote control with built-in Amazon Alexa voice recognition capability. The addition of integrated voice allowed Logitech’s designers to completely rethink the Harmony experience. “It’s quite a bit different from the previous Harmonies, as there are quite a bit fewer buttons,” […]

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Why companies like Amazon manually review voice data

Last week, Bloomberg revealed unsavory details about Alexa’s ongoing development that were known within some circles but hadn’t previously been reported widely: Amazon employs thousands of contract workers in Boston, Costa Rica, India, Romania, and other countries to annotate thousands of hours of audio each day from devices powered by its assistant. “We take the […]

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How Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung treat your voice data

Alexa. Cortana. Google Assistant. Bixby. Siri. Hundreds of millions of people use voice assistants developed by Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and Apple every day, and that number is growing all the time. According to a recent survey conducted by tech publication Voicebot, 90.1 million U.S. adults use voice assistants on their smartphones at least monthly, […]

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Canalys: 200 million smart speakers will be sold before year-end

The global smart speaker market could top 200 million units by the end of this year, according to analysts at Canalys. The firm forecasts in a new report that the installed base of devices like Google Home, Amazon’s Echo, and Apple’s HomePod will grow from 114 million units in 2018 to 207.9 million units in […]

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Amazon’s AI improves bass response, loudness, and echo cancellation on Echo devices

Ever heard of “multiband dynamics processing” (MBDP)? It’s a technique that modifies the volume of an audio signal across frequency bands, often with the effect of improving echo cancellation. But it’s not without its drawbacks. Namely, it doesn’t always cleanly separate signals into their component frequencies and it tends to use fixed bands, which in […]

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Amazon Employees Listen to Alexa Audio Clips to Help Improve the Voice Assistant

A Bloomberg report claims that thousands of Amazon employees listen to voice recordings of Amazon Echo customers from around the world. The voice recordings are heard by the team to help improve Alexa. They are transcribed, annotated, and then updated into the software again to improve the voice assistant’s speech recognition skills. The voice recordings are heard […]

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Alexa scientists teach AI language models new tongues with transfer learning

Adding support for a new language to a voice assistant like Alexa isn’t as easy as you might think, but researchers at Amazon believe they’ve developed a method that’ll expedite and simplify the process. In a newly published paper (“Cross-Lingual Transfer Learning for Spoken Language Understanding“) and accompanying blog post, they describe a technique that […]

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10 ways Amazon’s Alexa stands to improve

Artificial intelligence and machine learning now touch our lives in more ways than we can possibly imagine, but one particularly tangible, ubiquitous example is the digital assistant that lives in your smartphone, smart speakers, tablet, and computer. Whether you say “Hey Google,” “Hey Siri,” or “Alexa,” you’re conjuring up an advanced collection of AI and […]

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Amazon May be Working on Alexa-Enabled Truly Wireless Headphones to Take on Apple’s AirPods

Apple recently launched the second-generation truly wireless AirPods. And in May, the Beats-branded Powerbeats Pro will join the fray as well. But if you might be in the market for a pair of truly wireless headphones that feature Amazon’s Alexa digital personal assistant, you may get your wish soon. According to a report this week […]

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Amazon launches HIPAA-eligible Alexa skills for health care

Amazon today announced a limited number of voice apps for the Alexa Skills Kit by health care companies like Cigna and Boston Children’s Hospital that operate in compliance with the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Six HIPAA-compliant Alexa skills are available at launch to do things like help caregivers deliver […]

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Alexa AI scientists reduce speech recognition errors up to 22% with semi-supervised learning

Amazon’s Alexa Speech group scientists today announced they have used what they believe to be one of the largest unlabeled data sets ever assembled to train an acoustic model and improve the intelligent assistant’s ability to understand the human voice. Using semi-supervised learning, a method that combines human and machine labeling of the data used […]

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