Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Alexa gains eight new voices - but they're for developers for now

Alexa gains eight new voices - but they're for developers for now

Those of you who really want Alexa to have different voices will be happy with this latest development.

Amazon is rolling out a new update to the Alexa app that will enable users to set Alexa as their default voice assistant on Android devices.

It was already possible to add additional voices to Alexa through MP3 recordings, but this solution is definitely more seamless for developers. Obvious use cases would be adding multiple "characters" to Skill-based games and experiences.

The move comes thanks to Amazon Polly text-to-search service, which the company is opening to developers as a part of the preview program.

"Using Amazon Polly, you can choose a different voice for any utterance by using the Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) and specifying an Amazon Polly voice using the "voice name" tag", the post stated. The text-to-speech service today is capable of things like whispering, speech marks, using a timbre effect, and dynamic range compression - all which make the voices sound more natural.

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. The accessibility of Amazon Polly will help them avoid this trouble.

The entire idea of a voice masquerading attack is to prolong the interaction time of a running app but without telling the user.

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