Amazon to Start Alexas Skills Set Expansion in U.S. This Week

Hola, Alexa!

Soon Spanish speakers in the United States will be able to converse with Alexa on Echo and other devices connected to Prime as Amazon expands the voice assistant’s skills. Spanish is the second most popular language in America, after English.

U.S. Census Bureau data for 2016 lists English speakers at 230 million; Spanish speakers at 40.5 million. Google Home has had Spanish support since last year. Google expanded its personal assistant’s skills from eight languages to 30 by the end of 2018. ¬†Apple added support for Spanish to the HomePod in September of 2018.

Amazon Echo, 2nd Generation.

Developers in Spain and Mexico had already extended Alexa’s Spanish-speaking abilities in units sold in those countries, and they will be allowed to offer their programs in the United States, as well, according to a story in TechCrunch.com.

The new language learning program, Cleo, will be trained by developers and users for Amazon during the preview stage, which will ensure that its speech is as natural as possible.

“When it comes to English, Alexa can understand accents from America, India, the UK, and Canada. It can also speak German and Japanese,” the Business Insider reported. “Alexa’s support for accents and dialects is an encouraging sign, but it still only speaks three languages. That automatically limits Amazon’s reach with Alexa.”

Amazon has already seen how adding a new language can help in claiming market share. When it added English to its Echo units in India, developers added 1,000 new apps and skills for consumers. That makes the voice assistant more valuable to Amazon in the country where it’s located because it boosts sales of products.

read more at engadget.com