Users of Amazon's popular voice assistant may have noticed this morning that Alexa isn't working for them. The intelligent personal assistant is now capable of deciphering single words and phrases, but with these improvements, Amazon hopes that Alexa will work seamlessly in conversations as a real-time translator. Just like Microsoft translator and Google Translate, Alexa could place many language translators out of business. Amazon Alexa and Echo are down across the US.
Citing "several sources familiar with the matter", Yahoo Finance reports that the engineering team responsible for Alexa is "seriously exploring" adding language translations and other capabilities that could benefit different languages and cultures. Alexa would be able to offer the best response based on knowledge of the circumstances (a wedding) and the culture (Japan), making it useful for reasons beyond simple, direct translations. For example, Alexa can secure your wireless network with McAfee voice commands, send SMS messages through your Android phone, call for backup in Destiny 2, summon an Uber when you need a ride, and even order a pizza. Context and cultural awareness is something that's still missing. Or will the company shoehorn the Alexa into more smartphones as the de facto smart assistant?
Amazon does not have a page that tracks the status of consumer products and complaints.
Meanwhile, other companies have also attempted to create something similar. It can already do the basic but it still has potential to become smarter. Like with the Pixel Buds, Bragi's own device wasn't met with much success, as pointed out by The Verge.
The sources also expect that one day Alexa will be so advanced that a single device could translate multiple people speaking multiple different languages at the same time.
Amazon wants to turn Alexa into a real-time translator.