Amazon Wants Alexa to Put Language Translators Out of Business

Cultural context is the hardest part of speaking a foreign language. Amazon's Alexa could change that

Amazon might give Alexa more intelligent real-time translation powers

Yahoo Finance reports that one of the ways being considered would allow Alexa to translate languages in a more sophisticated manner. 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. To get a culturally aware translation, the user must be a little more specific when talking to Alexa. To a small degree, Alexa already does this-it's capable of translating basic words and phrases into Spanish, German, French, and Italian.

TechCrunch points out that some Alexa services are still available through the Alexa app, so if you desperately need to interact with your smart home through Alexa, you can do so on your phone. Context and cultural awareness is something that's still missing. "Direct Connect connections from the Equinix DC1 - DC6 & DC10 - DC12, Ashburn, VA and CoreSite VA1 & VA2, Reston, VA locations are affected by this issue", Amazon said on its status page. Samsung's Bixby voice assistant on its Galaxy phones is already capable of basic translations, while Bragi also created wireless earphones past year that featured real-time translation.

Amazon on Friday is having issues with its cloud-based "Amazon Web Services" system that is causing outages on several major platforms including the company's own Alexa service.

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In response, Nest will no longer sell any of its products on Amazon after existing inventory runs out.

Beyond language itself, the company wants Alexa to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the cultures in which the translated languages are spoken.

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