Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Amazon Alexa skills is getting 8 new voices

Amazon Alexa skills is getting 8 new voices

Developers today may already be using multiple voices in their skills, but the process of doing so is more cumbersome and rigid, as with mp3 file uploads. Take this survey to apply to participate in the developer preview, where you can help us refine the feature. The new voices are available through text-to-speech service called Amazon Polly that the Seattle, Washington-headquartered company announced back in December 2016 as a part of the Amazon AI platform.

Polly's voices are far from flawless, of course, but as they see more use, that could change.

Adding new voices into a skill can make it more interesting for customers to use, according to an Amazon blog post.

Now, developers can leverage Polly to add additional natural-sounding voices to their skills. "It's as easy as that". Amazon will provide more information to those who are selected.

The idea is to trick the user into opening a malicious app by using voice triggers similar to the ones of authentic apps, and using the malicious apps to either phish users for sensitive data or eavesdrop on their surroundings. Unlike the original Amazon Polly portfolio that includes voices in a large number of worldwide languages, Alexa has initially received eight US English voices.

Creating engaging skills can pay off: Developers can make money through Alexa skills using in-skill purchasing or Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills, the post noted.

Rivalling Google Assistant and Apple's Siri, Amazon is upgrading Alexa with the ability to speak in not just one or two but eight different voices.

The bank used the Alexa Skills Kit to create the services.

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