Amazon Alexa developers can now sign up for a developer's preview to utilize the Alexa Skills Kit to respond individually to users based on Alexa's voice recognition. That's according to an announcement Amazon made on November 30 via its official developer blog and follows the first unveiling of Alexa's ability to distinguish between individual user voices back in October. This new implementation will open that up much more widely, so that company's who make use of Alexa Skills across the board can take advantage of providing more helpful, personalized responses to their customers. In fact, several companies on the business side of things have already been working with the online retail and tech giant to get things started. Those including Salesforce, Concur, RingCentral, Tact, and Acumatica, with an Alexa Skill from Tact already available for use.
With regard to how the new personalized Skills will work, Amazon says that a user's voice profile will interact with skills individually using a unique anonymized identifier. Each time that user interacts with a given skill, the same identifier will be used to retain information that is contextually relevant to that user. That means that past interactions and preferences that user has set will be remembered. Of course, developers may also choose to map the identifier to a specific user within their own system to open up the possibilities even further. However, doing so will require developers to implement a passphrase or one-time use code system before certain actions can be completed using the associated Alexa Skill, in order to further protect that user and prevent unintended or accidental interactions.
The ability to distinguish between individual voices has been available on the competing Google Home platform for quite some time. So it makes sense that Amazon, being the current market leader in home-speaker-based, A.I.-driven assistants would want to regain some ground on that front. The feature will be arriving more widely for developers on the Alexa platform at some point in 2018. In the meantime, any developers interested in signing up for notifications and possibly gaining early access to the new developer tools can find the sign-up via the source link below.