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Monday, March 18, 2019

Ambient Computing on Alexa

Have not heard the term 'Ambient Computing' used too often, but is more general than voice.  Indicates a more conversational, but also notifying and two other way interaction.    I continue to like to add  the inclusion of the term 'Assistant', because it implies augmenting services. Here a good overview of the status of Amazon Alexa, with lots of links to related articles and resources. 

Amazon Alexa Enables an Ambient Computing Lifestyle  in InfoQ by Aslan Brooks

Alexa is becoming ubiquitous in the home through a purposeful Amazon Web Services (AWS) strategy to make Alexa, voice-activated service, a central component of an ambient computing lifestyle, according to Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior VP of devices and services in a recent article in the Verge.  AWS strategy has contributed significantly to the selling of 100 million devices with Alexa built-in.

Amazon first released Alexa, voice assistant, with the Echo and Echo Dot in 2014. Alexa listens for a magic wake-up word and then in real time records and sends your words to the AWS cloud for processing. Alexa uses automatic speech recognition (ASR) to transform words into text. The text gets processed by "skills" which are subscribed to by the user of Alexa. AWS has built a platform called Lex that Alexa uses for ASR and natural language understanding (NLU). AWS provides Lex to developers, so they can use it to build applications separate from Alexa.   .... " 

Note also the link to related science papers.

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