You'll soon hear 8 new voices in Amazon Alexa skills

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You'll soon hear 8 new voices in Amazon Alexa skills

If your skill uses only a single voice today, changing the voice or adding different voices in the right places may allow you to provide an even more engaging experience.

Amazon is giving this choice to developers through their Polly text-to-speech service. With voice becoming a more popular input, businesses can use Polly to differentiate their offerings on Alexa. Using Amazon Polly, you can choose a different voice for any utterance by using the Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) and specifying an Amazon Polly voice using the "voice name" tag. "It's as easy as that".

It should be noted that developers can already add multiple voices to their skills, but it's a more complex process that involves recording a voice as an audio file. We'll select a subset of the skills that apply, and will provide more information to those selected.

The eight voices will be in US English and will give devs who use them a chance to liven up their Alexa skills.

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. Skills that drive high customer engagement can also lead to a payday for developers through Alexa Developer Rewards.

Polly's voices are far from ideal, of course, but as they see more use, that could change. With Alexa of course already in more than 20% of U.S. households it seems likely automakers will see this as a bigger selling point than the rarely used Cortana service.

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