If you're in the market for a smart speaker, your two biggest choices lie with Amazon's Echo line and Google's Home devices. The original Echo was first made available in late 2014 for select Amazon Prime subscribers, and that means the Alexa AI has been learning new tricks and features for nearly three years. Despite this, Alexa is just now learning how to tell different voices apart from one another.
With this new feature, any Alexa-powered device will now be able to provide specific information to users based on who's talking to it. For example, if you ask for your Flash Briefing, you'll now hear different news stories from what your partner has set up with their Amazon account.
In addition to Flash Briefing, Alexa's ability to distinguish different voices will also creep into shopping, Amazon Music (family plan only), and Alexa to Alexa calling. Amazon says that it plans on expanding this functionality to additional services as time goes on, and along with this, Alexa should get better at telling people apart as you use the feature more.
If this sounds familiar, that's because the Google Assistant picked up this functionality on Google Home way back in April – a commendable feat considering the sizable lead that Amazon had over Google when it comes to this market.
Alexa will be able to start telling different voices apart starting today, and instructions on how to set this up can be found here. Amazon certainly is playing catch up with Google in this case, but we're still excited to see the AI finally pick up this very helpful trick.
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