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Amazon's Alexa will know which skill you need, even if you don't

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Engadget

Amazon is training its voice assistant to be able to tell which skill will most suit your needs if you have no idea which one to summon. The e-commerce giant has launched the beta version of a feature called CanFulfillIntentRequest, which will allow skill-makers to tell Amazon the kinds of questions their creations can answer. That way, when you ask Alexa a vague question with no particular voice app in mind, it can run it through multiple skills and use the one that can most likely answer you.

For instance, if you say "Alexa, where is the best surfing today near Santa Barbara?" the assistant will use CanFulfillIntentRequest to ask various surfing skills if they have the capacity to answer that. The assistant will then use a machine-learning model to surface the best skill for the task without having to invoke it with one of its keywords or phrases. "As a result," Amazon's post on the Alexa blog reads, "customers find the right skill faster, using the search terms they say most naturally."

A spokesperson told VentureBeat, that the feature will consider various factors to decide which apps to invoke and use, including their engagement level and rating. It sounds like a great and natural way to find the best voice apps to use when there's no screen involved and if you can't be bothered to remember every skill's invocation name and phrases. However, you might have to wait quite a bit to feel the feature's effects, considering its beta version just came out.

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