Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Amazon's on a mission to make Alexa on your Echo more human (CNET)

From an extensive Alexa profile; on a related note (from 2012), see To boldly search: Google reveals how Star Trek inspired its vision for the future of computing (Daily Mail)

"But despite Alexa’s human name and female persona, Zorn counters that Amazon doesn’t aim to turn its voice assistant into another member of your family. Instead, the team’s guiding light and original idea for the Echo is the all-knowing but behind-the-scenes computer from “Star Trek.”

“We don’t have an explicit desire for customers to anthropomorphize more or less than they do,” Zorn says, as if reading aloud the warning label on the tush of a giant metal robot. “We’ve recognized that some do.”

To find out about Alexa’s future, I visited Amazon’s HQ for a rare opportunity to talk to four Alexa execs about their digital assistant’s budding personality, origin story and smart-home capabilities. I also went to Princeton University, where a group of graduate students are developing an Alexa-based socialbot that can chat with people about a handful of topics."
Amazon's on a mission to make Alexa on your Echo more human

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