Alexa

Alexa ‘Brief Mode’ makes Echo less chatty

Alexa ‘Brief Mode’ makes Echo less chatty

Alexa is getting less chatty, with Amazon reportedly testing a new "Brief Mode" which would cut down the assistant's confirmations to a simple beep. Although not yet officially announced by Amazon, the new setting appears to be targeted at those who prefer a less talkative smart speaker, particularly as the interactions with the device grow in number.

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ecobee Switch+ wants to put Alexa in every light switch

ecobee Switch+ wants to put Alexa in every light switch

There's no lack on smart home products that double as Alexa devices these days, but ecobee is taking a rather unique approach to AI integration today. The company has announced the ecobee Switch+, a new light switch with a built-in speaker and Alexa Voice Service. The Switch+ was announced this morning at South by Southwest and ecobee is gearing up for launch in just a couple of weeks.

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Alexa expands on Fire, iPad, Android tablets

Alexa expands on Fire, iPad, Android tablets

Alexa video calling was added to a collection of tablets this week in an effort to ramp up Amazon's smart assistant omnipotence. Amazon announced the update for all tablets, all at once - that includes Amazon Fire tablets, Android tablets of all kinds, and the iPad from Apple. Users will be able to use their device to place video and audio calls with Alexa, or send messages to almost anyone, with the assistance of Alexa.

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Alexa laughing bug has users creeped out, Amazon is working on a fix [UPDATE]

Alexa laughing bug has users creeped out, Amazon is working on a fix [UPDATE]

If you own a smart speaker running Amazon's Alexa and you've recently heard a disturbing child-like giggle in your home, don't freak out. Amazon has acknowledged that its digital assistant is currently experiencing some sort of issue that causes it to randomly giggle and it is looking into a fix. The company's confirmation follows reports from some Alexa users claiming their speaker has let out a random laugh.

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Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

We are well in the age of AI. No not the genocidal kind of dystopian science fiction. Fortunately, the AI we have today isn’t yet that smart, though they’re smart enough to be on our smartphones. From Google to Amazon to even Huawei, AI-powered smart assistants are more and more becoming a bullet point in phone spec sheets and marketing materials. But how smart are they really, especially in competition with each other? We take a look at some of the features available, or absent, from smart assistants to find out.

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Deezer Alexa support goes live around the globe

Deezer Alexa support goes live around the globe

Deezer has a lot standing in its way if it wants to become one of the biggest music streaming services in the US. Though Deezer has been around for quite some time now, it only became widely available in the US back in 2016, at a time when services like Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music were all duking it out for market share. Still, Deezer has been doing some cool things to garner attention, and today we're seeing the next step in that process.

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Huawei HiAssistant to square off with Alexa, Google Assistant, Bixby

Huawei HiAssistant to square off with Alexa, Google Assistant, Bixby

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and since Huawei hasn’t been killed by a recent failure in the US market, it might be coming back stronger and bolder than ever before. Huawei has been tipped to be embarking on its most ambitious venture yet, not with a new device but with a new service. Simply called HiAssistant, the AI-powered voice-controlled smart assistant might be coming to offer the features that Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung Bixby, and Apple Siri have but in ways that those have not been able to do in China.

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Alexa goes silent as Amazon downtime mutes assistant

Alexa goes silent as Amazon downtime mutes assistant

Bad news if you rely on Alexa to control your smart home, stream your music, or educate your kids, with a huge outage making Amazon's assistant temporarily mute. Amazon Web Services have been experiencing regional outages, which have left Alexa either sluggish to respond or failing to answer questions and commands altogether.

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The next big thing in tech is Trust

The next big thing in tech is Trust

When Apple introduced the iPhone, they rightly assumed that the next generation would be willing to carry their identity in their pocket. In the very near future, companies like Google and Amazon will profit from their assumption that we're willing to go one step further. In the very near future, users will trust their entire identity to the cloud. Not only this, but they'll trust a company to tell them information they'd have otherwise had to have researched themselves.

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Alexa real-time universal language translator project tipped

Alexa real-time universal language translator project tipped

Amazon is planning to transform Alexa into a universal real-time language translator, according to sources with knowledge of the plans. Doing so would turn Alexa devices into multi-lingual assistants that aid users in communicating with different languages. Though Amazon hasn't confirmed the plans yet, the sources indicate Alexa's translation abilities would greatly exceed mere word and short phrase translations.

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Pikachu Talk skill brings adorable Pokemon voice to Echo, Google Home

Pikachu Talk skill brings adorable Pokemon voice to Echo, Google Home

The Pokemon Company has turned its attention to the most popular smart speakers on the market, bringing Pikachu and its adorable voice to both the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices. With this skill, owners of either device can talk to the Pokemon character and have it talk back. The conversation abilities include telling a story and using Thunderbolt.

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Lenovo Yoga 730 packs Alexa and Cortana into the same 2-in-1

Lenovo Yoga 730 packs Alexa and Cortana into the same 2-in-1

Lenovo has showed up to MWC 2018 with a pair of new Yoga 2-in-1 notebooks in tow. The company today announced the 13-inch and 15-inch Yoga 730, which offer a number of improvements over their predecessors. Perhaps the most interesting thing about these new Yoga notebooks, however, isn't the hardware on the inside, but how Lenovo approaches AI smart assistants.

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