When you tell someone something, there’s a good chance that they’ll remember what you said, at least in the short term. That’s one the drawbacks of digital assistants is that for the most part, every request you make feels like you’re starting from scratch, but that’s something that Amazon is trying to change with Alexa.


According to Amazon’s Ruhi Sarikaya who detailed some of the changes they’ll be making to Alexa (via Engadget), one of those changes is giving Alexa a “memory” in which it will remember things that you have asked it to remember, and will be able to recall that information at a later date, such as remembering someone’s birthday or an anniversary and so on.

In addition to this, Amazon is also expanding on Alexa’s two-turn interactions where they are trying to make it so that Alexa can follow up previous requests even when there isn’t an explicit pronoun given, making it more contextual and making it more natural sounding. According to Sarikaya, “We are expanding beyond this to include utterances without pronouns. For example: ‘Alexa, how is the weather in Seattle?’ → ‘What about this weekend?’”

He adds, “We are also supporting context across domains. For example: ‘Alexa, how’s the weather in Portland?’ → ‘How long does it take to get there?’ We are providing this more natural way of engaging with Alexa by adding deep learning models to our spoken language understanding (SLU) pipeline that allows us to carry customers’ intent and entities within and across domains (i.e., between weather and traffic).”

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