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Amazon Alexa can be summoned by voice on all Windows 10 PCs

by Mark Tyson on 7 May 2019, 14:11

Tags: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qad7gq

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Amazon Alexa on Windows 10 devices

When the Alexa Windows 10 app launched last year there were only a handful of PCs which allowed users to wake Alexa by voice alone. Others would have to press a button to issue voice commands. In other words it used a push-to-talk method.

Now the Amazon Alexa app has been updated to that it can listen for the Alexa wake word and jump into action straight away when summoned. Of course the app, if not the current focus, has to be running in the background or minimised, for this keyword summoning to function. The always listening for keyword mode is a toggle in settings, so it can be turned off.

Thus, with the Amazon Alexa app running on your Windows 10 PC it can now act just like an Amazon Echo speaker, thanks to this hands-free functionality. Grab the app direct from the Microsoft Store if you are interested.

Cortana AI boost

Another bit of news from the current BUILD2019 developer conference concerns the Cortana digital assistant. Microsoft has previewed a smarter Cortana assistant which uses new conversational AI technology from Semantic Machines.

If you watch the video above you will see that it doesn't really intro any new Cortana functionality - she can already schedule calendar events, reminders, connect to Alexa skills, and look up varying data for you - it is the conversational interactions and smart scheduling manipulations that make this seem so appealing.

In the embedded video the business lady is probably using Cortana via the Android hosted Microsoft Launcher app. However, if you have an Android phone you already have access to Google Assistant which has its own strong points, like being able to book appointments at restaurants, hairdressers etc.



HEXUS Forums :: 78 Comments

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HEXUS
Amazon Alexa can be summoned by voice on all Windows 10 PCs
Not on mine, not had a microphone for years.
I just don't understand why youi'd want to have something listening to everything you say in your home. My life, my business not amazons or googles or who ever they decide to sell that information to.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's Cortana has been enhanced with new conversational AI tech. ….
Well, that's an interesting use of the word “enhanced”. Maybe they can enhance it back to the stone age.

To put that another way, Microsoft, please take Cortana (with or without, but especially when with “conversational AI”) and use it as a suppository.

This is why (or one reason why at least) I detest MS installing “upgrades” whenever they want. If I used W10 (and thus type of thing is a big part of why I don't) I don't want to spend half my life trying to neuter MS's “enhancements”.

Convsersational AI?

No, MS, no, no, no and again, NO.

Gottit?
Gh0sty
I just don't understand why youi'd want to have something listening to everything you say in your home. My life, my business not amazons or googles or who ever they decide to sell that information to.

i live alone and don't talk to myself, so the only thing it's hearing me say is to do stuff like turn the lights on/off or dim or change colour, or play music, tell the time in the middle of the night when i'm lying in bed in the dark, turn the fan on/off, etc. eventually i'll get it to be able to do similar things with my heating

imagine how much these things could benefit a disabled person who had limited mobility or was blind. just think about people other than yourself and what they may do or want to do. if you were some kind of criminal plotting crimes you've probably seen goodfella's and heeded some of the warnings so wouldn't have such a thing recording your criminal intentions, but that's a fairly limited number of the population. step on the streets and there's cctv recording you on a fair percentage of public streets, especially in the city. over time people get used to it and used to the hang ups
Unique
i live alone and don't talk to myself, so the only thing it's hearing me say is to do stuff like turn the lights on/off or dim or change colour, or play music, tell the time in the middle of the night when i'm lying in bed in the dark, turn the fan on/off, etc. eventually i'll get it to be able to do similar things with my heating

imagine how much these things could benefit a disabled person who had limited mobility or was blind. just think about people other than yourself and what they may do or want to do. if you were some kind of criminal plotting crimes you've probably seen goodfella's and heeded some of the warnings so wouldn't have such a thing recording your criminal intentions, but that's a fairly limited number of the population. step on the streets and there's cctv recording you on a fair percentage of public streets, especially in the city. over time people get used to it and used to the hang ups

Their point is we don't want it FORCED upon us. Make it optional and we would have no complaint. I say we as I agree with them. Not on win10 for my main machine and it won't get it.