Amazon is doing a lot more to help Alexa predict what you need and ask you about it, execs tell us

Posted on 2019-06-06     03:06:am     Viewed by 102 people and you.

Amazon on Wednesday previewed a new type of skill for Alexa that it calls Alexa Conversations.

Conversations is a tool for app developers that makes it easier for them to create skills (or apps) for the device with far less code. Not only does it limit the amount of programming that they must do, but it also helps the device converse with users more naturally, even if the programmer didn't code in all the possible responses.

But its real value is that it lets Alexa proactively string together skills in a single conversation and ask you about them.

The first Alexa Conversation the Amazon team created is called "book an evening out." Amazon vice president and head scientist of Alexa Rohit Prasad previewed this functionality on stage Wednesday at the company's inaugural re:MARS robotics and AI show in Las Vegas.

The demo involved a person asking Alexa to buy movie tickets via Atom, a popular app for the same. After that transaction, Alexa asked if the person would be going to dinner near the theater, brought up nearby restaurant recommendations and booked a reservation via OpenTable. And then Alexa asked if the person wanted to order an Uber for the date night and took care of that as well

Prasad didn't say when this skill would be widely available on devices, but the company made a preview of the development technology available to programmers as of Wednesday.

In an interview with Business Insider, Amazon Smart Home VP Daniel Rausch said that conversations is just the latest way that the company is trying to make Alexa more proactive.

Posted by Czar