Users can now teach Alexa — Amazon’s digital assistant — local Indian languages like Hindi, Marathi and Bengali, with the e-commerce giant today announcing a new skill aimed at improving Alexa’s speech recognition.
The artificial intelligence-powered Alexa — which competes with virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant — currently engages with users in English.
“Alexa gets smarter every day and now customers in India can help Alexa learn Hindi, and other Indian languages, using the new Cleo skill,” Amazon said in a statement.
Cleo lets users share more information about Indian languages and culture with Alexa by talking to her.
“Using Cleo, customers can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other Indian languages. The more they use Cleo, the more it will improve Alexa’s speech recognition and natural language understanding in the long term,” it said.
Amazon said the process of creating new languages for Alexa benefits from advances in data availability, computing power, and a subset of artificial intelligence called machine learning.
Cleo has been built by a team of linguists and data scientists and has already helped improve Alexa’s understanding of languages such as French.
Users can enable Cleo under the ‘Skills’ section of the Alexa app or ask their Echo or Alexa-enabled devices to enable Cleo.
If a customer prefers to teach Hindi or other local languages to Alexa, they can open Cleo and be prompted by Alexa in English to respond in the intended language.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.