Only after 2 years of launch in India Alexa has mastered Hindi. Amazon at a press conference in New Delhi has launched a new version of Alexa that now understands and speaks Hindi and Hinglish- a mixture of English and Hindi. The new feature will now be available as a software and the new version Alexa and Echo will be hit the market in the Diwali shopping season.
The new version will allow the user to ask for news, music and other updates in Hindi and Hinglish on its Echo or another smart speaker. For example “Alexa aaj ki taza khabar sunao”, “Volume badhao”, “Alexa Purane Bollywood gaane sunao” etc.
Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI, who grew up in Ranchi and completed his engineering in the same city and later joined Amazon in 2013 said, “Hindi changes every 100 kilometers or so Alexa can handle varied regional accents and dialects. Alexa has an Indian personality.”
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“A lot of how people in India engage with their smartphones and internet services is different from those in the United States. For instance, in India, people often search the name of an actor instead of the singer or the band when they are looking for a particular song,” he added.
“There’s a big deep learning wave right now and if I think of something new in conversational AI, I know I have a fighting chance of getting it right.”
“With today’s launch, you will notice that Alexa has become more local. Alexa will not only understand and respond in Hindi or Hinglish but, is also armed with a lot of knowledge about topics that interest users in the country ranging from local information to music, and from Bollywood to cricket,” Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager for Alexa Experiences and Devices, Amazon India, said.