Amazon is looking to go beyond its competitors with their latest Alexa developments. Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant. A big selling point of Amazon Echo is its voice recognition through Alexa. It doesn’t stop at simply recognizing someone’s voice, however. Amazon wants Alexa to recognize the emotional state of people, which could make for some more in-depth conversations.
Rohit Prasad, the chief scientist of Alexa, told Venture Beat that the team has begun to analyze the voices of users to determine their moods. Gauging someone’s true feelings is hard enough for humans. For Alexa, the early stages of accurately detecting emotions could be lengthy.
When asked about moods that Alexa is looking to detect outside of frustration, an Amazon spokesperson chose not to comment. An anonymous source did reach out to MIT Tech Review and claimed that tracking frustration among other emotions is an integral part in Alexa’s research and development. Amazon is said to be doing this to stay ahead of competitors such as Apple’s Siri.
So, how would Amazon attempt to track your emotions? Echo devices record each interaction after it hears the user say “Alexa.” As it stands now, this method serves to improve Alexa’s ability to understand languages and voice recognition. As for personalized results, Alexa picks up on that by using your music choices, zip code, and sports preferences.
Emotional intelligence is where Alexa can take that next step. With further development, this will allow for responses to the user’s emotions through voice recognition. Rather than delivering a generic answer, Alexa would be able to have a relevant conversation with the user. The idea behind this method is that it’ll give users a boost in terms of mental health and happiness. If human responses just aren’t enough or you’re not in a state where you want to open up to others, Alexa could be your answer one day.