Digital assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa all tend to sound rather monotonous. This is because the words are pieced together via an algorithm which usually lacks the inflection and expression that we as humans normally do when we talk. However Amazon has come up with some interesting ideas, such as the ability to make Alexa whisper.

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Now it seems that Amazon is giving Alexa’s voice another feature: the ability to speak like a broadcaster. This means when reading out the news to users, Alexa can be made to sound more authoritative, kind of like what you might expect when you are watching the news or listening to news radio.

The changes Amazon made are night and day, where the original voice of Alexa reading out the news sounds like what you might expect from a text-to-speech program, the digital assistant’s newscaster voice sounds a lot more natural and authoritative. At this point in time it is still quite obvious that Alexa is not human, but we reckon it sounds a lot better than before.

According to Andrew Breen, Sr. Manager with the TTS Research team at Amazon, “The ability to teach Alexa to adapt her speaking style based on the context of the customer’s request opens the possibility to deliver new and delightful experiences that were previously unthinkable. We’re thrilled that our customers will get to listen to news and Wikipedia information from Alexa in this new way.” If you’re interested you can check out the sound samples on Amazon’s website.

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