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Amazon taught Alexa to whisper sweet nothings in your ear

A new coding language enables whispering and even bleeping curse words.


Soon enough, Amazon's Alexa will shout out your grocery list. That's assuming developers take advantage of the new language framework that Amazon has added to its digital assistant. The idea is that the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) will hopefully give Alexa more natural speaking patterns. Specifically, now Alexa is capable of whispering, bleeping out swear words and adding emphasis to a phrase in addition to changing volume, speed and pitch of its voice.

The Amazon Developers page has sample code available too, so you can hear what Alexa is supposed to sound like before adding the SSML to your project. This is a pretty big step toward actually getting a digital assistant that sounds like a human in addition to it being another move from Bezos and Co. that opens the platform up to outsiders. Alexa still has a ways to go to becoming Samantha from Her, but this common programming language could get us there faster. Hopefully it doesn't mean the pants from that movie are en route as well.