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Amazon’s Alexa knows when you’re pissed off with its results

Great, let’s all annoy the AI.

amazon echo device with alexa sitting on books
Image: Unsplash

We all know the frustration of asking your voice assistant something and them not being able to answer. Well, now Amazon’s Alexa will understand that frustration, and adjust accordingly.

That’s a big step forward for how Alexa responds and paves the way for even more emotional analysis, which could be used to predict things like depression.

Amazon’s Alexa will now analyze your tone of voice to gauge frustration levels

It’s perhaps fitting that Alexa will now start to analyze not just the content of your queries but also the tone you say them in. After all, AI is still in its infancy, and like a small child, your voice assistants need to learn how to respond.

The way it works under the hood is very interesting:

  • User asks Alexa a question
  • This gets analyzed by two additional deep neural networks, beyond the one to decipher your command. One checks for words that indicate frustration, and the second analyzes the tone of your voice
  • The results of those new algorithms then go into a third algorithm, which makes a judgment call on whether the response was satisfactory or not

For now, the feedback loop only works with music requests. If Alexa starts playing the wrong song based on your question, you can say “No, Alexa” and the voice assistant will apologize and ask for clarification. Oh, and once the algorithms from Amazon are trained further, it should also replace the need for human contractors to grade responses.

What do you think? Is this new Alexa feature a good thing? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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