Amazon Working To Reduce Friction With Alexa

Amazon is working to reduce the friction with Alexa for end users and developers alike, and while it's always trying to improve the smart digital assistant in a number of ways, in this particular case Amazon is adding in some new features at some point in the future. Of course it isn't all about making Alexa more feature-rich for consumers though that is an ever-expanding goal that will probably never go away as long as Alexa is a thing. It's also about making Alexa more natural to interact with so it feels more like you're talking to another person when asking questions or delegating tasks, something which Google Home is surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly) good at, and likely a reason that Amazon is keen on improving Alexa in this way.

In regards to the new features one of the ones that's on the way for users according to Amazon is something called Skills Arbitration. This sort of ties into the goal of making Alexa more natural, as "in the coming weeks" Alexa will begin to start reacting to more natural customer responses and phrases. This sort of contextual conversation-like experience and interaction between Alexa and the user will make things feel a lot less robot-like, and that's something that any Echo device users should be happy about. Amazon delves a little deeper into this by explaining that asking Alexa how to clean an oil stain off a shirt led to a quick and concise response without the requirement of the user having to discover the skill on their own before getting the results they wanted.

Another new feature coming up will be called Context Carryover, and this is the main point to focus on if you're wanting the interaction with Alexa to feel more like a natural and normal conversation. With this being implemented you'll be able to ask Alexa questions and then follow them up with a more natural response without having to mention the name "Alexa" again before your context. Asking Alexa how hot it's going to be today for instance would result in a desired answer and then if you wanted to ask if it'll cool down later on in the evening you could do that simply by asking "will it cool down in the evening." The last new feature on the way is called Memory and as the name suggests this will allow Alexa to remember information that you ask it to remember, no matter how big or small it might seem. Amazon says that all of these new features will be rolling out in the U.S. soon, with stuff like Context Carryover launching additionally in Germany and the UK.

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About the Author

Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.