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Alexa developers get 8 new voices via Amazon Polly

17 May 2018

If your skill uses only a single voice today, changing the voice or adding different voices in the right places may allow you to provide an even more engaging experience.

Amazon has started rolling out an app update that will bring Alexa, the voice assistant that powers Amazon's smart speakers, to the Android platform. For example, in an adventure story or game, developers can give distinct voices to different characters.

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It's all part of Amazon Polly, which was created for Alexa developers back in 2017. Using Amazon Polly, you can choose a different voice for any utterance by using the Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) and specifying an Amazon Polly voice using the "voice name" tag.

Amazon announced a developer preview for adding eight Amazon Polly voices to Alexa skills.

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The bank used the Alexa Skills Kit to create the services. You can cache and replay Amazon Polly's speech output to prompt callers through interactive voice response (IVR) systems, such as Amazon Connect.

Some of the voices include: Ivy, a female voice that speaks in mannerisms akin to U.S. English speakers; Hans, a male voice that speaks in German; and Naja, a female voice that speaks Danish. Amazon Polly makes it easy to request an additional stream of metadata with information about when particular sentences, words and sounds are being pronounced.

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Alexa developers get 8 new voices via Amazon Polly