Amazon Wants To Turn Alexa Into A More Complex, Real-Time Translator

Jo Lloyd
March 3, 2018

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. Context and a more sophisticated take on culture will make the assistant useful in real-time moments, as Yahoo reported based on several unnamed sources close to the project.

According to a report by Yahoo Finance, Amazon is "seriously exploring" adding real-time translation to Alexa's suite of capabilities.

Alexa is already capable of translating short terms and phrases from Spanish, German, Italian, French, and English into native languages. By doing so, it would be able to instantly serve up a useful, accurate translation for a person from the USA who only speaks English and is attending a wedding in Tokyo.

AWS services and Amazon Alexa functionality are now back online.

In other words, in the above example, Alexa would consider the Japanese's culture, which is more formal and conservative than American culture. Or will the company shoehorn the Alexa into more smartphones as the de facto smart assistant?

Amazon's Ambition to turn Alexa into a real-time translator seems to be taking a page from Google Assistant. Google Pixel Buds has a similar feature and obviously work with a Google Assistant. Samsung's Bixby voice assistant on its Galaxy phones is already capable of basic translations, while Bragi also created wireless earphones a year ago that featured real-time translation. One area of contention is the availability of Nest smart home products and a new report today details the discussion between the two companies, and reveals possible involvement by Jeff Bezos.

If you're traveling and unsure of how to ask for a table at a restaurant, Amazon wants Alexa to have your back.

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