Many people understand the concept of Alexa, but still do not fully understand how virtual assistants work. Alexa is the voice of AI that can be accessed through Echo devices. However, Amazon’s virtual assistant is more than just recording. In this guide, we will explain the source of Alexa, the exact way Alexa works, the name of Alexa, etc.
What is Alexa?
For most people, what you need to know about Alexa is that it is the name of the sound from an Alexa-enabled speaker. Alexa is to Amazon what Siri is to Apple.
Alexa is a voice that you can ask questions and get answers, such as “What’s the weather in Chicago today?” Alexa has been integrated into many Amazon services and can be integrated with the original Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show, or Amazon Fire Use TV and other products together.
But actually, what exactly is Alexa? When you ask Alexa questions, what you are doing is communicating with cloud-based services. Amazon has designed the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to mimic real conversations, but you are using intuitive voice commands to make the service perform specific tasks.
“Alexa” is just a “wake word” that reminds the service to start listening to your voice. For most devices, you only need to say the wake word to get a response.
According to Amazon’s developer website, Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is located in the cloud. Amazon’s AVS is an intelligent speech recognition and natural language understanding service.
This service can be used to enable voice functions for all connected devices with microphones and speakers.
This is why you start to see Alexa on headphones and other devices. Amazon’s developer website wrote: “Alexa has been getting smarter and smarter with new features through machine learning.”
Although Alexa is the official name of Amazon’s voice assistant, you can change this wake word to “Amazon”, “Computer” or “Echo”. This is a useful feature, especially when your name or the name of your partner or roommate happens to be Alexa or something that sounds similar.
Apple has Siri. Google Home has Google Assistant, which is activated when you say “OK, Google”. Amazon has Alexa. but why? David Limp, an Amazon executive responsible for the development of the service, said that he chose “Alexa” for several reasons.
First, the name “Alexa” can be traced back to the Library of Alexandria, which tried to collect all the knowledge in the world. Amazon is trying to do the same thing. Alexa has been learning, but in theory, it should be a seamless source of information.
The service is named Alexa because it contains the unusual “X” sound. Since this service is activated by voice, Amazon wants to choose a name that will not be confused with other words that might wake up the device accidentally:
“We do use a lot of names, and that name is just as important for the personality it creates around the character than a computer-based voice computer in the cloud. But there is also computer science behind it,” Limp said. “If you have an echo, you will know that it will only wake it up when it hears the word “Alexa”, the pinyin of the word, how to parse the word, and the fact that it has a strong consonant with “X”. Wake up is very important. Therefore, the combination of these two things allows us to narrow the scope of Alexa.”
What can Alexa do?
The list of commands that Alexa can understand seems to increase every day. Amazon calls these “skills”, and now you can even create your skills through Amazon Blueprints.
After Amazon review, you can even publish your skills in the Amazon Skills Store for others to use on their Alexa devices. There are more tasks that Alexa can accomplish than we listed in this article, but here are some of our favorites:
- Find recipes and use AllRecipes skills to provide you with step-by-step audible instructions.
- Tell me about a Kindle book.
- Get movie showtime or sports schedule.
- Order pizza and find nearby restaurants.
- Use the Capital One app to pay bills.
- Order almost everything online.
- Get pregnancy advice. Track your Amazon package.
Alexa also has the function of setting a “routine” in which a single command you set (such as “Alexa, good night”) will turn off the lights, lock the front door, set an alarm within a set time and set your settings.
The coffee maker opens at a specific time. The routine has also been continuously improved. Now you can ask Alexa to turn on the light, wait 10 minutes, and then turn on the coffee maker.
If you don’t want to wake your partner, Alexa will provide a whisper mode, in which she will whisper to you and understand your whisper. You can learn how to set up routines in our operation guide.
Amazon is adding new features to Alexa almost every day and providing more skills and device compatibility.
Amazon is launching a frustration detection feature, so when you feel frustrated with her, Alexa will be able to understand and confirm. If you want to learn more about Alexa, just ask: “Alexa, what’s new for you?” She is happy to share.