The New Friction-Free Features of Alexa
Amazon Echo can answer follow up questions without Alexa prompt soon. Alexa will be smarter soon and will be more natural on the way it interacts with the user. Alexa will be able to recall the information that the user will give. The user can also ask many questions without saying Alexa before the question. In addition, Alexa can also launch skills through natural requests.
Soon, Google Assistant Alexa will also be able to understand conversation questions that are asked by the users back to back. They can do it without the need to say, Alexa, before they ask something. It is a content carryover. As long as the user prefaces the first question with Alexa, he does not have to say it again on the follow-up questions. The user can ask, “Alexa, how is the weather in Texas?” and follow it up with, “What about tomorrow?” This will be available first for the users in the US, Germany, and UK.
Soon, it will be easier to find or launch skills in Alexa. In the previous version, the user has to find a skill on his own before he can use it. But now, the users in the US will be able to discover or engage with the skills of the Google Assistant through natural conversation. If the user asked,” Alexa how can I remove the stain on my shirt?” the Google Assistant can reply and say “Here is a Stain Remover,” it is a kill that t can give the user step-by-step instructions to remove the stain. There is also a branding opportunity for companies to create skills to match the questions of users.
Memory Feature of Alexa
For the Alexa users in the US, there will a new memory feature. The Google Assistant Alexa will soon be able to remember information and retrieve it at a certain date. The user can say, “Alexa remember my birthday is April 28.” The Google Assistant will reply. Alexa has had a remember feature that can display a list of things the users asked Alexa to remember. To make Alexa more personalized, this memory feature is just the first of the many other launches of the Google Assistant this year.
The Challenges to Improve Alexa
To make Alexa more engaging and smarter, the company works with science and engineering teams. The existing architecture of Alexa requires important changes.
The challenges that the company has to address are to scale to experience across languages or devices. And to scale the skill arbitration across the thousands of Alexa skills. In addition, to measure the quality of experience for the users.
According to Rohit Prasad, they have only begun to scratch the surface of what they can do. The features such as Skills arbitration, context carryover, and memory feature are just instances of the class of work that the Amazon scientist and engineers do to make engaging with Alexa more friction-free. He adds that they are on a multi-year journey to fundamentally change the human-computer interaction.