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Old April 6th 17, 10:40 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roderick Stewart[_3_]
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On Thu, 6 Apr 2017 20:50:06 +0100, "NY" wrote:

I think they should investigate whatever technique Amazon is using for
their Alexa gadget, because it's very impressive. I can talk to mine
from the other side of the room, or shout down the stairwell from the
landing, and it nearly always interprets what I'm saying correctly.
Even if it doesn't know the answer to a particular query, it does
usually seem to recognise the words, as can be verified by the alexa
phone app that shows in text form what has been said to it.

Try getting Alexa to add Bovril to your shopping list - we've had "bath
oil", "bod rail" (qué) and "bare frills". I think it's because Bovril isn't
as popular (may even be unknown) in the US so she hasn't been trained to
recognise it. It's a shame there isn't a training ability in Alexa so when
she repeatedly gets things wrong you can say, not only "this is wrong", but
also "this is what I meant" so she learns. My wife and I reckon that Alexa's
word-recognition has got a bit worse in the last few weeks. That's when
standing right next to her, so room acoustics aren't too much of an issue.

I think there must be some kind of learning ability, even if it's only
recognising something that has previously triggered a false response.
Mine sometimes responds to a bit of dialogue on the TV, presumably if
it sounds a bit like "Alexa" - on one occasion for example it seemed
to be the words "Let's see". As I practically never watch anything
live, I usually have the means to spool back and play exactly the same
bit of dialogue under identical conditions to see if it responds to
the same words again, and it never does.

The other thing that Alexa is *very* bad about (and this is not
word-recognition but understanding of the words that have been heard
correctly) is locating tracks and albums in the music app. That command
processing software needs to be improved so it preferentially uses music in
your library and so you can give a track name and not have to specify the
album (which you may not know). And so she knows more about genres of music:
like "play relaxing music" - sometimes she finds things that are anything
but relaxing.

I once asked Alexa to "Play Beethoven's Fifth", and she played some
horrible electronic rock version of it, so I haven't troubled her for
any more music since, as we don't seem to have the same tastes at all.

I only bought the thing because they did one of their special reduced
prices one weekend and I thought it would be interesting to see what
it could do. So far it seems mostly like a solution looking for a
problem, but I guess time will tell.


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