For those who already are unsure of having a device that listens to them in the home Amazon’s Alexa is pushing its luck. For everyone else, however, its new memory function may prove useful.
I am not dismissing the scenarios where voice controlled virtual assistants can be used for nefarious reasons. However, I am also interested in how these assistants are being developed and becoming more common in our daily lives.
Amazon Alexa remembers
This new memory feature will be released in the US at first and then, most likely, rolled out to other markets later.
The new skill will enable Alexa to remember any information you want it to. For instance, Alexa can store arbitrary information you want and retrieve it later. For example, ask it: “Alexa, remember that Sean’s birthday is June 20th.” Alexa will reply: “Okay, I’ll remember that Sean’s birthday is June 20th.”
This memory feature is the first of many launches this year that will make Alexa more personalised.
It’s early days, but with this initial release we will make it easier for customers to save information, as well as provide a natural way to recall that information later.
Furthermore, you won’t have to use Alexa’s hotword every time you ask a follow-up question.
In the US, UK and Germany, the virtual assistant will soon answer secondary questions more naturally: if you ask “how’s the weather,” you can ask “how about this weekend” afterwards.
Amazon is also using its deep learning know-how to allow follow-ups that span across categories. If you ask “how’s the weather in Sheffield?” for instance, then you can ask “how long does it take to get there?” and Amazon will still know where you’re talking about even though you’ve switched from weather to traffic.
What do you think about these developements? Do you think that this will make Alexa more useful or do you think it makes it more open to misuse?
Let me know below.