Alexa developers get 8 new voices via Amazon Polly


This allows developers to create speech-enabled products, and apps that talk to users.

This means that developers can now customize voice apps using eight unique voices other than that of Alexa.

Specifically, the company has released a developer preview that will let skill developers choose from a wider range of Alexa voices for use in their projects. Before this, developers were only able to add voices to their skills by uploading an MP3 file or by creating a custom audio track, which was quite painstaking.

If you're bored of always hearing the same Alexa voice regardless of what skill you're using, this is likely the update you've been waiting for. Obvious use cases would be adding multiple "characters" to Skill-based games and experiences.

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Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize speech that sounds like a natural human voice, according to the post.

Academics discovered that they could register voice assistant apps (called "skills" by Amazon and "actions" by Google) that trigger on very similar phrases.

The new voices are a mix of male and female, and are limited to US English for now. They can pick from a handful of available voices (made possible by Polly, Amazon's text-to-speech service).

Amazon Polly was first introduced at Amazon's re:Invent developer event in November 2016, and has been steadily ramping up its capabilities in the time since.