Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Alexa's new Follow-Up Mode can handle back-to-back requests

Amazon makes it easier to give Alexa follow-up commandsMore Amazon makes it easier to give Alexa follow-up commandsMore
Sandra Phillips | 12 March, 2018, 13:05

Now, Amazon has a new feature called "Follow-up Mode" that's created to make exchanges like that feel a lot more natural.

Alexa-enabled devices have been updated to allow users follow up with a second question for Alexa without needing to say "Alexa" again, CNET reported Friday, allowing for a more natural conversation.

To indicate that Alexa is listening after completing her utterance, the blue light will be displayed for a few seconds. You'll be able to tell that she's still listening because the blue ring will still be on.

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If you have an Amazon Echo, or any virtual assistant for that matter, it can be a bit of a pain to keep summoning the miniature AI with the wake-up command.

To be clear, this doesn't mean that Alexa can handle multiple commands at once. While up late watching TV one evening, the recipient unexpectedly heard Alexa say, "Good night, Clarice". Just head to the Settings page of the app, select the device you want to configure, find Follow-Up Mode and tap the toggle to switch it on. ALEXA: "OK." (continues listening) YOU: "Set the thermostat to 68". If you need a lot doing, you can end up saying "Alexa" so many times that it starts to sound like a fake word or that you're going slightly mad talking to someone who isn't actually real.

The first cases were reported in "smart" loudspeakers that feature Alexa (which is on various devices) and from which the robotic laughs came out without cause, which in some users were reminiscent of a witch ... witch. The feature appears to be an option for the entire Echo lineup, as well as some third-party Alexa devices, though it's now only available for US English. A third user asked Alexa to play music, and she laughed.

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