Amazon Is Transforming Alexa Into A Fully Automated Virtual Assistant
Alexa is gradually becoming a fully automated virtual assistant thanks to Amazon. The goal of Amazon’s many improvements to the Alexa UI is to make the virtual assistant easier to use. The most obvious change is how Alexa now handles routines; Previously, users had to create their own automation manually, but now developers can create it and suggest it to other users.
Amazon tries to make sure that the most important instructions, like “Stop!” It works regardless of the signal word you use. Alexa is also beginning to coexist with assistants from other manufacturers. Nice improvement if you ask me.
These announcements were delivered by Amazon during the Alexa Live 2022 Developers Conference, which also saw the launch of a number of other new Alexa capabilities aimed primarily at developers. They can go through a simpler setup procedure, expand their knowledge of their environment, support Matter and other smart home devices more easily, and add purchases to their list of talents.
But Amazon knows that if you can’t figure it out or learn how to use it, none of Alexa’s cool new capabilities will be very useful. And the Alexa team is leaning more and more toward making the system do the work for you rather than creating fancy new user interfaces or voice menus. According to Aaron Robinson, vice president of the Alexa team, “We want to make automation and proactivity available to everyone who interacts with Alexa and Alexa-connected devices because it’s so much fun.”
The switch to “routines” is probably the most obvious example among the new ads. Users can choose to set up their own routines – “When I say I’m leaving, make sure the stove is off and all the lights are off” – that kind of thing, but developers can now create routines for their skills and offer them users in depending on your activity.
“For example, Jaguar Land Rover uses the Alexa Routines Kit to create a routine they call ‘Goodnight,’ which will lock the car and remind customers of the charge or fuel level, and then also activate Guardian mode,” he says. Robinson. It’s the kind of thing that a lot of people would enjoy but few would do the work of creating themselves, but now they just have to run it.
Robinson says routine users are among Alexa’s most dedicated and trusted customers, and he wants to make sure they still have access to the controls they need to create the weirdest, weirdest automation. “But we also know that not everyone will take that step,” he adds. Routines can become more valuable to more people by being more proactive as Alexa works to keep the user engaged.
Since voice assistants don’t offer a choice of buttons or icons, but are just a blank canvas that you could be talking to or yelling at, they’ve always presented a tricky user interface (UI) dilemma. The Alexa team has gradually lowered this barrier by trying to make it impossible to say the wrong thing. This is one of the ideas behind its ability to have multiple assistants, allowing developers to place their virtual assistants alongside Alexa inside the device. (Amazon’s newest partner is Skullcandy, so you can talk to the headset by saying “Alexa” or “Hey Skullcandy.”)
Amazon is also working on a feature called Universal Commands that can make an Alexa-enabled device do certain important things, regardless of the wake word you’ve used. For example, You can say “Hey Skullcandy, set a timer for 10 minutes” and Skullcandy’s assistant can’t do that, but Alexa can, so Alexa can handle it automatically.
Robinson named timers and rejected calls as equally important things that any Alexa-enabled device should be able to handle even if it doesn’t interact with Alexa. Robinson says the feature will roll out over the next year.
Amazon Is Transforming Alexa
Of course, to adopt and use these features, developers will need to implement them. According to Robinson, the Skill Developer Accelerator Program “will reward developers for taking steps that we know lead to the creation of a high-quality, engaging skill based on the story we have,” which is one way Amazon is doing an effort to encourage developers to do so.
They are changing their revenue sharing agreement so that developers keep 80% of their revenue instead of 70% and they are changing their revenue sharing agreement so that developers keep 80% of their revenue.
But if Amazon can make it happen, it will have made progress by addressing one of the biggest problems with Virtual Assistant: It’s hard to understand what they can do, which is why most users default to music, lights, and timers. This makes it difficult for developers to invest in the platform, leaving users with nothing to do. Amazon can turn the wheel in the opposite direction by simultaneously strengthening the platform and making it do more for users.
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