Alexa Loses Her Voice in Widespread Outage

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People using Amazon's smart-assistant Alexa on Friday, either through an app or one of Amazon's many Echo devices, are finding that the typically attentive assistant isn't working as it normally does.

Amazon reportedly also wants Alexa to be capable of translating languages on-the-fly which means that if someone is talking to you in a local language that you do not understand, Amazon would translate it into your native language in real-time.

No celebrities came to the rescue, however, as many in the US and Canada experienced unresponsiveness and a red ring with a message to try again later beginning around 9:30 a.m. EST.

An Alexa "skill" already translates short sentences in English into 36 languages including Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian, Polish, Thai and many more - but just short phrases and words.

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Yahoo Finance reports that one of the ways being considered would allow Alexa to translate languages in a more sophisticated manner. In 2017, Google boasted that the Pixel Buds ($159 ) were able to perform accurate real-time translation on the go, but the feature was not well received. We have reached out to Amazon for details on what happened and when the digital assistant will be back up and running.

Beyond language itself, the company wants Alexa to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the cultures in which the translated languages are spoken.

Amazon, which now offers AI translation as a service for developers, does not now provide cultural context or understanding through Alexa. "Alexa, what do I say to the father of the bride at a wedding in Japan?"

Sources "familiar with the matter" told Yahoo that Amazon has a grand vision of a "Star Trek-like" capability where Alexa can simply respond to virtually any voice command including real-time translation.

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