Amazon’s Alexa – A Refreshingly Awesome AI

Amazon has a lot of innovation and creation brewing in its labs as it continuously comes up with advanced hi-tech gadgets and concepts that can make a substantial difference in your life. The field of Artificial Intelligence is being enthusiastically pursued by many scientists and researchers; and Amazon did not want to be left behind in the race of creating the best AI. Amazon’s Alexa is one of the smartest AIs that I have come across and she makes talking to the walls sound awesome. The products of the Amazon Echo family currently use Alexa.

Amazon Echo is a smart speaker that renders a great audio experience. It uses its AI – Alexa – to augment this experience. So you can tell Echo what you want and Alexa will bring it up for you. From songs of your favorite band to kitchen timers, Alexa can do it all. It listens intently and it always listens. That is the best part of bringing Amazon’s Alexa home. Although if you don’t really like the name Amazon chose for it you can call it Amazon or Echo.

What can Alexa do?

When you set up Amazon’s Echo you will be taken through the process by Alexa and once you connect to the speaker’s Wi-Fi network using your phone or tablet, you will be able to teach a lot of things to Alexa with the help of the Echo apps.

Alexa is a quick learner and it can carry out most of your commands very well. Hailing a cab ride from Uber and ordering a pizza from Dominos are some of the new tricks that Alexa has learnt. And the good thing is that she loves to learn. If you are a Spotify member, then Alexa can even stream music directly to Echo straight from Spotify.

Alexa can also read weather forecasts, set timers and manage your to-do lists. Alexa is capable of learning new skills when you enable different apps. Amazon has also released a software development kit which allows third parties to craft the skills for Alexa. This means that it will be able to learn more things with the rapidly growing options in the Echo apps.

The skill section has a lot to offer and there is something for everyone. Gamers will love the way Alexa turns into a helpful sidekick while you play games like Minecraft and Destiny. Musicians can use this helpful AI as a metronome or a guitar tuner. And if you are a mixologist then listen to Alexa for creative cocktail recipes. She will talk you through complicated recipes like a patient teacher.

Another field where Alexa seems to portray a bright future is smart home products. Some of the most popular ones here are home security systems from Vivint and Scout and Garageio which provides the ability to open smart garage doors. This is one of the things that makes Alexa amazing. Its ability to monitor or control things is one of the reasons why it is gaining popularity.

While we do have tech giants like Apple who are working on enhancing Siri’s controls and monetize on HomeKit which is an iOS powered vision for a smart home which is connected. I think Echo steps it up because it is a device that stays connected at your home. When you leave your home, you don’t really take it with you. So if you have guests staying at your place then you do not have to share your passwords and transfer your account settings to them. Just a few commands to Alexa and she can get everything done for them without you worrying about your privacy or security.

Conclusion

Amazon’s Alexa is amazing and it adds soul to the three gadgets in the Echo family – The $90 Dot, the $130 Tap and the $180 Echo. The Dot and Tap were announced on March 3, 2016 and Amazon will begin shipping these two products on March 31, 2016. Alexa’s voice search capabilities are already being used by Amazon Fire TV as well and we noticed the first hints of Alexa powered third-party devices at the CES 2016. Any device which has a built in microphone and speaker system can add Alexa powered controls with the help of a few lines of codes. As innovation continues, Alexa will have more opportunities and it will be able to gain footing throughout your home.

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