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📰 News and Stories

Consumers Want Understanding Over Personality from Voice Assistants, Games Aren’t on Their Radar – New Data: A survey of U.S. adults revealed that “How well it understands me…” is the most important quality determining voice assistant preferences by a wide margin, selected by 53.1%. Speed of response and features were both listed as important by about one-third of consumers. The personality of the voice assistant was considered important by only 6.2% of users. Only 1 in 40 consumers says they consider games an important voice assistant quality. Just over one-third of consumers said they had no interest in using a voice assistant.

Say “G’day” and “Cheerio” to new accents for your Google Assistant: If you’re an English speaker in the U.S., you can choose between an Australian-accented voice and a British-accented voice for your Google Assistant across devices. All of the features you use are still the same—like setting a timer, checking the weather and getting an overview of your commute—only now, your Assistant will speak with a new accent. Try asking “Hey Google, what’s the exchange rate from British pound to U.S. dollar?,” “Hey Google, what’s the capital of Australia?,” or “Hey Google, where can I get fish and chips nearby?”

Collaborating on the future of audio news for the Assistant: Google announced it has incorporated the AI used for Google News to Google Assistant. An audio news playlist will be assembled for users, starting with a briefing of top stories and updates, later extending into longer-form content that dives deeper into more stories. Users can ask Google Assistant to skip a story, go back, or stop. Google Assistant will also be able to give updates to stories users have already heard about.

Enhance Your Customer Experience with Real-Time Location Services for Alexa Skills: Your skill can ask the customer’s permission to use the real-time location of their Alexa-enabled device, only at the time of their request, in order to provide key functionality for the skill or to enhance the customer experience. For example, a map skill could use location services to provide directions when a customer asks where they can find the nearest coffee shop. Location services are supported on the Alexa app and Echo Auto at launch, and will expand to other devices in the future.

BotTalk New Release - Code Name InSight - Reimagining the Flash Briefings: Main features: Use Google Spreadsheets, custom APIs, dynamic data, mix and match different feeds. The solution BotTalk provides for the Alexa developers is truly unique on the market.

Send Timely Information to Your Alexa Skill Customers with the ProactiveEvents API: With the API, you can enable your Alexa skills to send notifications to customers who have granted permissions. By providing timely, relevant information, you can keep your customers engaged and retain them effectively. You can simply choose from a pre-defined set of schemas that best describe your events and send proactive events information that conforms to a schema via the Skill Management API (SMAPI) as part of a skill manifest. Each schema has a predefined template that represents the text read back to the end customers by Alexa.

📓 Tutorials and Opinions

Creating Alexa Flash Briefing in BotTalk: A quick video tutorial to get you started with Flash Briefings on BotTalk. This tutorial shows the use of the templates that were specifically built to empover you with all the things you'll need to create a high quality briefing.

📆  Events

Recordings and Resources: The Best of Alexa at AWS re:Invent 2018: A great collection of videos, keynotes and slides and more from THE event of the year.