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21st of October 2017

Gadgets



You can now teach Amazon Alexa to recognize your voice

Why it matters to you

Oh snap! Amazon Alexa can now recognize individual voices and give you tailored responses to your requests.

Last week, Google announced a cool new feature on the Google Home platform: the ability to recognize individual users’ voices, meaning that when you ask Google to play music on Spotify, you no longer have to endure your partner’s Britney Spears playlist — even for a second — before you direct the device to switch to your own playlist.

Dubbed Voice Match, our Google Home Mini testers determined it did a pretty good job of figuring out who was talking and then providing accurate answers tailored to the individual. Not to be outdone, Amazon Alexa now has the same feature.

Amazon reportedly confirmed to Engadget that Alexa, already a smarty-pants, will now be able to decipher whether you, your child, or a guest playing a joke on you is trying to order 10 bags of chocolate chip cookies via your Echo device.

Amazon Alexa customers should be able to enable the new capability right away. To set up a voice profile, you’ll need to go through the Amazon Alexa app on your phone. Go to account settings, select Your Voice, and then select your profile name. Like Google Home’s Voice Match, you’ll then be directed to say several phrases out loud so Alexa can learn your voice. If you want to add other people to your Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show, you’ll need to have them sign into their own account on their own Alexa app. You can also choose the “I’m someone else” option on the app, then train their voice on the device in the same way you did for yourself.

After you create a voice profile, Alexa will call you by name and give you personalized answers. So when you ask Alexa to add laundry detergent to your shopping list, she’ll automatically add the item rather than having to clarify which shopping list you want it added to. No word yet on whether you can tailor some of the more than 15,000 Alexa skills to individual users or get customized Flash Briefings.

You can delete your voice profile at any time in the app, and voice profiles not used for three years will automatically be deleted. If you deactivate a device, your voice profile information will automatically be deleted from the cloud.

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