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Alexa wants to become your new favourite anchorwoman

Amazon’s Alexa assistant now sounds a little more professional when she reads you the news every morning. The company is using new text-to-speech tech to enable Alexa to adapt her delivery style based upon the content.

So, when Alexa users in the United States, ask “Alexa, what’s the latest?” the assistant will deliver the news in the style of a professional newscaster.

The company says the tech, which was first demonstrated in November, and is now rolling out, helps Alexa figure out which words are worthy of emphasis. Amazon said this leads to a more realistic delivery style.

The company also said the tech applies to Wikipedia entries, which is also rolling out in the United States today. Users can say “Alexa, Wikipedia Theresa May” to hear the new style.

“The ability to teach Alexa to adapt her speaking style based on the context of the customer’s request opens the possibility to deliver new and delightful experiences that were previously unthinkable,” says Andrew Breen, the senior manager with the TTS Research team at Amazon in the blog post. “We’re thrilled that our customers will get to listen to news and Wikipedia information from Alexa in this new way.”

Related: Which Amazon Echo speaker should you buy?

The rollout of the feature in the US comes after Amazon debuted a new ‘whisper mode’ for Alexa, that enables the assistant to respond to requests quietly, at times when other members of the household may still be sleeping.




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