Amazon Is Trying to Make Alexa Sound Less Robotic

Amazon's Alexa Virtual Assistant Tested In Boston Hospital
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Alexa is pretty smart, but no matter what the AI-powered assistant talks about, there’s no getting around its relatively flat and monotone voice.

That’s why today Amazon added Speechcons to the Alexa Skills Kit, a tool box for makers of Alexa skills. Speechcons are words or phrases written in Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML).

SSML Speechcons give Alexa the ability to say more than 100 words or phrases — like “Bada bing,” “Good grief,” or plain old “Boom” — to add more excitement and emotion to Alexa’s speech.

The addition was announced today in a blog post by chief Alexa evangelist David Isbitski.

In recent months, Amazon has added other features to the Alexa Skills Kit to give developers more built-in tools. Last December, a library of hundreds of commands was added to the Alexa Skills Kit, making it easier for Alexa to talk about things like books, the weather, and local businesses.

Visit the Alexa Skills Kit website to see the complete list of Speechcons and hear what they sound like.

This article originally appeared on VentureBeat. All rights reserved.

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