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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Amazon Show Adds a Screen

Includes video calling capabilities.  And adding the ability to provide image data beyond what is in the Alexa App.   Note the point made about the speed of delivery made by Andrew Ng.

Amazon’s Touch-Screen Smart Speaker Solves a Big Problem with AI Assistants
And it also reasserts the company’s dominant position in that sector.  by Jamie Condliffe  In Technology Review:

Amazon has added a screen to the latest iteration of its Echo smart speaker—a move that acknowledges some of the limitations of voice-only smart devices and will allow users to discover content more easily.

The new $230 Echo Show is far larger than the smaller speakers that have gone before it, because it features a seven-inch touch screen positioned above its speaker panel. The concept is pretty simple: the voice assistant Alexa will now show you how it’s responding to questions, rather than just telling. That means it will, say, show you the weather forecasts for the coming week, display a recipe, or offer up related music suggestions.

It solves a problem that others have already pointed out. Earlier this year, Andrew Ng, who was then chief scientist at Baidu, explained to MIT Technology Review that while speech input is three times quicker than typing on mobile devices, “the fastest way for a machine to get information to you is via a screen.” By displaying search results, for instance, Alexa will be able to impart information to a user far faster, rather than reading long lists out loud or simply not providing the information at all. ... " 

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