Amazon Wants To Turn Alexa Into A Real-Time Language Translator

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Some Amazon Alexa users were met with deafening silence Friday, with the voice-controlled digital assistant going down across the U.S. According to Downdetector.com, a website that monitors technology outages and service interruptions, issues with Alexa began after 9:30 a.m. EST.

Amazon said its highly popular US-East region has been dropping packets all morning, US West Coast time, thanks to unidentified connectivity problem with Direct Connect.

One of the ways the group intends on doing this is by introducing the ability for Alexa to translate languages, beyond simple words and short phrases.

A report from Yahoo Finance suggests that Amazon is looking to amp up Alexa's translation skills, by also including how to respond to cultural norms.

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One of the examples given was that Alexa would have an understanding of Japanese culture and how to address someone formally versus speaking to someone more casually.

"For instance, if a person from the USA, who only speaks English, attends a wedding in Tokyo and doesn't speak Japanese, Alexa would be able to help that person hold a conversation in Japanese".

Amazon is not the only major tech company that seeks to beef up the translation capabilities of its products. The Pixel Buds' real-time translation feature received mixed reviews. It can already do the basic but it still has potential to become smarter.

"To truly realize that vision, you'll want a number of things: you'll want to have it everywhere, be able to talk to it from anywhere, be able for it to do all of the things you would want an intelligent assistant do for you, and ultimately do it in a very conversational way", Amazon Vice President of Alexa, Al Lindsay, told Yahoo Finance in an interview previous year.

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