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Amazon upgrades Alexa with newscaster voice



Image: Amazon

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If you’re in the US and ask Alexa to reel off the latest news today through your smart speaker, she’s going to sound a bit more professional than on previous days. That’s because Amazon performed an upgrade and gave her a professional newscaster speaking style for conveying such information.

As TechCrunch reports, Amazon’s aim was a more realistic delivery of the news. In order to achieve that, Amazon turned to a neural text-to-speech (NTTS) system which learned to use a newscaster style from just a few hours of training. Details of the NTTS were revealed by Amazon last November, but it’s only now that the newscaster voice variation is ready for Alexa to use.

This isn’t the first time Amazon has altered Alexa’s voice to suit the situation. Back in October last year the ability for her to whisper was introduced. It’s especially useful for those with a sleeping baby who still need to use the voice assistant to find out some information or to place an order with Amazon.

It seems unlikely this will be the last speech variation Amazon considers implementing. The company has an NTTS system at its disposal that only requires a few hours to train on a voice style. Why wouldn’t you experiment with that and see what works?

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This article originally published at PCMag
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