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Next-gen Alexa may see less talking, less Xbox and more chores, Amazon says

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant could soon recognise the sound of an Xbox Series X turning on and then remind console owners of their chores and to-do lists!

Speaking at the Web Summit 2021, Amazon said the next generation of Alexa will require users to speak less and will instead perform more tasks in the home automatically, based on passive cues.

During a presentation, Tom Taylor, SVP of Alexa, said users could “train” Alexa to recognise certain sounds by providing a live recording.

So, if that Xbox turns on within earshot of Alexa, the Echo Show in the room could remind your child of the other duties they have before tucking into an epic Halo Infinite session.

“Lets say you are a parent and want to make sure your kids do their chores,” Taylor said. “You could train Alexa to listen for the sound of Xbox turning on and have it automatically show your kids a to-do list on the Echo Show.”

That was just one example provided by Taylor in the speech above (time-coded if you fancy watching), but the possibilities are very promising (or not so much if you’re a young Xboxer).

“Increasingly you don’t have to ask Alexa to do these tasks around your house, Alexa and your devices are doing it on your behalf. You talk to Alexa less,” Taylor added during the keynote in Lisbon.

He said it “may surprise you” that Amazon would prefer you to talk to Alexa less often. “We believe that the future of consumer technology is ambient intelligence, which uses AI to weave together devices and intelligent services,” Taylor added.

“This isn’t just more connected devices. It’s about adding intelligence throughout the system to make the devices better.”

“Ultimately this means that you’ll reach for your phone a little bit less and you’re talking to Alexa less,” Taylor added. “It means you’re spending more time looking up at the world and the people in it.”

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