A few days ago, Amazon announced that it would bring in several hundred commands for its Amazon Echo device’s voice assistant, Alexa, through a new library addition to the Alexa Skills Kit.
Until now, Alexa has been able to act on no more than a handful of commands – 15, in fact. Each “intent” is used to understand a user command, and is represented by words such as “cancel”, “stop” and so on. It also includes specific city names. In addition, there are also slot types representing other entities such as names of movies, books and so on.
In the next few weeks Amazon will roll out hundreds of intents and slot types covering video, book, local businesses and even the weather for Alexa on Amazon Echo devices.
“With the new built-in intents library, weather becomes an object that Alexa knows a lot about, both weather itself and its attributes, but also how a person may ask for the weather,” Isbitski wrote. “Our interaction model now can be done with no sample utterances and a single intent! We call this new type of interaction an Intent Signature and it includes actions, entities and properties.There are numerous Intent Signatures available for use in your Alexa skills across all sorts of categories.”
But Alexa has far more skills than just being able to process 15 intents. The Alexa Skills Marketplace, for example, has over 5,000 skills.
The new additions will be available to Amazon Echo users in the United States in a few weeks, but a global rollout should be forthcoming.
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