Alexa’s latest upgrade helps it listen to multiple people and ask clarifying questions

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant can now will let you diagnose COVID-19

During Amazon’s event today, the company announced a range of improvements that are coming to Alexa. The company says the voice assistant will be better at responding to multiple people, and that in other cases it will be smarter about asking and remembering the answers to clarifying questions. Alexa is also being updated to change its tone in response to a conversation.

Amazon typically announces a number of upgrades for Alexa at its major hardware events, alongside smaller updates that appear throughout the year. Last year, the company announced a range of new features for its voice assistant, including a new more natural-sounding voice, a multilingual mode designed for bilingual households, and a “frustration detection” feature which lets Alexa apologize when it gets your requests wrong. Oh, and who could forget the special Samuel L. Jackson voice skill (which was then expanded this year)?

Over the course of 2020, Amazon also announced some more minor updates for Alexa. The voice assistant received a new longform speaking style designed for content like podcasts in April, and just this month Amazon announced Alexa for Residential, a new program to make it easier to integrate Alexa devices into rental properties. The Alexa app also got an update in July, along with preview launches of a feature that could see the voice assistant being used to open smartphone apps.

Developing. Check out our live blog for more news from the Amazon event as it happens.

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