Voice assistants have come a long way in their ability to support multiple languages and reach broader audiences around the world. The latest development from Amazon Alexa is a more nuanced change in its language skills. The assistant now has the option to adopt the speech cadences and delivery of a professional newscaster. The AI will take on this voice when sharing news stories with a user. Amazon shared two samples of the same audio, one with the original technology and one using the newscaster voice.
We also tested the newscaster voice. A new smoothness is evident, though perhaps not reaching a professional news-reading level:
With our experiment and the Amazon examples, We are impressed by the mimicry. Most voice assistants still center on the same flat, hollow delivery style, and the new tech sounds close to something right out of your local TV news channel. Second, it’s a reminder that whether or not you are already using voice assistants, tech companies are continuing to make big strides in this sector and seem unlikely to slow down. The Google Assistant demonstration where an AI conducted a full telephone conversation (see the video below), both sounding and behaving like you’d expect a human to, is on its way to becoming commonplace.