Alexa gains eight new voices - but they're for developers for now

Sheri Evans
May 17, 2018

So, for example, they can give a different voice to each character in an adventure story or in a game skill.

Amazon is rolling out a new update to the Alexa app that will enable users to set Alexa as their default voice assistant on Android devices.

It's all part of Amazon Polly, which was created for Alexa developers back in 2017.

Apart from this, Amazon has also introduced Alexa Voice Shortcut Widget, that allows users to have access to Alexa at the tap of an icon. Now, developers can leverage Polly to add additional natural-sounding voices to their skills.

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"Using Amazon Polly, you can choose a different voice for any utterance by using the Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) and specifying an Amazon Polly voice using the "voice name" tag", the post stated. This means that depending on the developer's preference, they can choose to use a different voice from the default Alexa voice to use when users are interacting with their skill.

Amazon announced a developer preview for adding eight Amazon Polly voices to Alexa skills.

Polly's voices are far from ideal, of course, but as they see more use, that could change. This new capability now includes eight different US English voices. Chiefly, it's the text-to-speech service which helps create the scripts for Alexa skills.

More recently, Amazon launched the "Remember This" feature for Alexa, essentially giving the virtual assistant a memory.

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