Alexa : Amazon announces major new features for its voice assistant

Amazon yesterday unveiled a new cluster of new products Amazon Echo, Fire TV or even Ring. Presented by Dave Limp, Senior Vice President ofAmazon Devices & Services, the event Alexa of the year was not without surprises despite a somewhat particular format due to the health crisis. For those who were unable to follow the announcements live with us, here is a summary of our Live Amazon Devices Event concerning the novelties of the voice assistant itself. Indeed, according to a survey conducted on our Facebook community, you were a majority to expect above all innovations concerning Alexa. Here they are !

Alexa will learn from his mistakes

Thanks to the deep learning, or deep learning, Alexa is now able to detect direct and indirect signals of its users for understand your own mistakes.

Rohit Prasad, vice president and chief scientist of the department Alexa, gives as an example a sentence that we have all already pronounced following a difficulty in understanding our voice assistant: « ALEXA, STOP! ". Thanks to our intonation, Alexa will now be able to understand that she has made a mistake and be able to correct herself on her own, in particular by opening a clarifying dialogue with the user.

Alexa may initiate a clarifying dialogue

Confessed, half-forgiven error? Yes, as long as the mistake is not repeated too often! This is why the teams ofAmazon trained Alexa to initiate a clarifying dialogue.

In the presentation video, Rohit Prasad asks as an example: « Alexa, put Rohit's thermostat in vacation mode ». Not understanding the request, the voice assistant replies " what do you mean by Rohit vacation mode? ". The latter can therefore tell him that it is to adjust it to 16 degrees. Alexa records the response and confirms that she will remember this setting as the "Rohit vacation mode". This is the end of some routines!

Interactive learning ofAlexa

Indeed, unlike routines Alexa, where customers use the app to associate actions with verbal triggers (like turning off lights when the customer says 'good night'), interactive learning allows to Alexa bystart a conversation to ask questions about unfamiliar or unresolved concepts, and thus accomplish tasks that would otherwise fail.

In a new example, Rohit Prasad also demonstrated a setting where he asked Alexato remember that the "Rohit reading mode" corresponded to 40% brightness. He was then able to order him to switch to reading mode withoutAlexa does not ask him for confirmation of his order. Not bad !

But interactive learning will also go further via declarative concepts where the voice assistant will be able tointerpret suggestive instructions such as « Alexa, it's too dark in this room ”. In short, and it's a tour de force, Amazon managed to instill in Alexa a model of declarative reasoning combining machine learning and machine reasoning to predict actions that match user statements.

But, rest assured, this ability toartificial intelligence will of course allow you to explicitly indicate to Alexa to forget the learning that you have recently taught him or even all of them.

In short, if we did not lose you on the way, you will probably have been as passionate as we are by these announcements which mark, without a doubt, a major turning point in the field of artificial intelligence by allowing the simple users that we are to advance Alexa daily. Innovations that we can take advantage of in 2021 and that we will come back to, many other novelties having been announced yesterday.
Fascinated by Alexa since the day I received it in beta test, I gradually became passionate about the subject, before deciding to go further by creating a site with Jean-Christophe. An activity that allows me to quench my thirst for new technologies and share my discoveries about the nicest of communities: Les Alexiens.