Sci-tech

Alexa developers get 8 new voices via Amazon Polly

Alexa developers get 8 new voices via Amazon Polly

This means Skill creators can give various characters in a given Skill different voices, according to Amazon.

This could make Alexa Skills more engaging.

To use an Amazon Polly voice instead, developers would use Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) and then specify which voice they want with the "voice name" tag. With voice becoming a more popular input, businesses can use Polly to differentiate their offerings on Alexa.

If you already use multiple voices in your skill via using.mp3 files or another technique, consider Amazon Polly for its natural-sounding voices and ease of maintenance. Polly uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesise speech that sounds like a human voice.

Academics discovered that they could register voice assistant apps (called "skills" by Amazon and "actions" by Google) that trigger on very similar phrases.

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.

Amazon announced a developer preview for adding eight Amazon Polly voices to Alexa skills.

Amazon Polly was first introduced at Amazon's re:Invent developer event in November 2016, and has been steadily ramping up its capabilities in the time since. Chiefly, it's the text-to-speech service which helps create the scripts for Alexa skills.