What is Alexa Let’s Chat? The Amazon Alexa personal assistant is about to get chattier thanks to some new, AI-powered conversational skills headlined by a new ‘Let’s Chat’ feature.
During its big hardware showcase on Wednesday, Amazon revealed Alexa is getting a serious upgrade to a new large language model that relies on the generative AI technology that’s given rise to the likes of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.
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The most striking example of the new Alexa is a forthcoming “Let’s Chat” feature that Amazon says is smarter and more conversational, while showcasing real world utility, along with personalisation, proper context, and less time waiting for responses.
It aims to make Alexa more natural-sounding and improve its ability to converse with the human subject. Amazon also says it includes real-time information, while cutting down on latency.
Users can activate the new feature by saying “Alexa Let’s Chat” and can continue conversing following the initial inquiry, without having to use the wake word over and over again. Amazon says the AI-based improvements have enabled Alexa to maintain context as the requests keep coming.
As an example of the forthcoming capabilities, Amazon shared a video with a user asking how her sports team did today, without naming the team in question. The win meant Alexa delivered the news in a happy manner. After the result, the user was able to say “give me a recap” for a match report.
The user pivots to asking to celebrate the big win with a song and requesting a “cool new pop dance song.” After Alexa responds with a suggestion, the user asks “cool, play it” while maintaining that context of “it” meaning the song.
Amazon says it enhancements are “based on a new large language model (LLM) that’s been custom-built and specifically optimised for voice interactions, and the things we know our customers love—getting real-time information, efficient smart home control, and maximising their home entertainment.”
Beyond ‘Let’s Chat”, which is rolling out in preview in the US soon, Amazon also previewed the ability to set entire routines with a complex series of commands.
For example, the user can say “every morning at 8am, turn on my bedroom lights, set the thermostat to 68 degrees, and play my running hype playlist” Alexa will be smart enough to create the routine and call it “Wednesday morning run routine.”