Since its launch, the Amazon virtual smart assistant has been getting greater and smarter. Today, it allows the user to give commands that controls products in their homes, listen to music among other things.
What is Alexa?
Alexa is an intelligent virtual personal assistant which was designed in Amazon Lab126. It was first used with Amazon Echo and the Dot devices. Alexa enables music playback, voice interaction, streaming podcasts, playing audios, creating a to-do list, providing traffic and weather updates in and controlling home automation devices.
Alexa listens to the user voice commands and responds with the appropriate responses to get a certain job done. It allows the user to activate the smart device using wake word or by pressing a button as the case with the Amazon Alexa mobile app.
The name Alexa came about for two reasons. First, because of the uncommon consonant ‘X’ sound giving it a name that would be less confusing to accidentally activating the device with similar names. And second, due to its link with the “Library of Alexandria”. For those who aren’t Star Trek fans:The library of Alexandria was at one time the keeper of “all knowledge”.
Popular Alexa is known for its use in Amazon Echo, a combination of smart speaker and smart home hub but today it works in many devices from different manufacturers.
History of Voice In Alexa
Voice design in Alexa was inspired by two innovations; conversational system (automatic speech recognition) and computer voice (artificial production of human speech).
When Echo was introduced into the market in 2014, it was pitched as smart speaker that allowed the user to control music with their voice. Echo was originally a speech synthesizer-based text-reader with multi-directional mics and a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth speakers.
Alexa, the cloud-based voice assistant service used in Echo, has evolved to become the way to control most smart home devices using your voice.
Alexa combines the Amazon Web Service (AWS), high quality speech synthesizer and independent speech recognizer, which is tied to a simple hardware to listen to commands in speech form, decode the commands and responds with the appropriate responses.
Currently Alexa is available in German and English. However, through machine learning, the Alexa voice service allows the users to do their own voice design on different smart devices and to install new skills to their Alexa-enabled devices to do more and more.
It operates using skills (discrete program that interact with a given device) to perform the given commands. TodayAlexa has over 20,000 skillsand over 100 skills being added per day.