Amazon Alexa gains a new feature called 'Care Hub'

Amazon Alexa new skill

Amazon has now introduced the new Care Hub, a set of Alexa voice assistant features created to help simplify the remote caregiving experience for both the person providing support and their ageing loved one.

In a blog post published on Wednesday, Amazon software engineers Anjishnu Kumar and Anand Rathi announced Alexa's new machine learning system would help understand customer goals that are implied but not vocalised. It's available only in English at the moment. After setting your Amazon account as their emergency contact, those in need can say "Alexa, call for help", and Alexa will call you or will send you a notification.

With the new capability, Alexa might answer that question, "Five minutes is a good place to start", then follow up by asking, "Would you like me to set a timer for five minutes?" They said that for two years, they had to receive demands from customers regarding the use of voice assistants to guide the aging family members. The silicon change occurred on the back end of Alexa's services, where data is sent for final processing to AWS cloud systems.

The identification of Alexa for latent goals does not work on all queries.

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To determine whether to suggest a potential goal, "we use a deep learning-based trigger model that takes into account various aspects of the dialogue context, such as the text of the customer's current session with Alexa and whether the customer has participated in the passed on Alexa's suggestions on multiple skills".

But it would be interesting to see how Alexa actually becomes smarter at predicting what users actually want. If you're asking Alexa about how to cook eggs every morning and always opting to set the timer, Alexa's discovery model will use active learning to improve its predictions and more accurately conclude whether or not you want to know when those 1 1/2 minutes are up. It will also monitor whether or not the recommended skills are helping, and it will delete the underperforming experiences.

Inferentia chips are now also being adopted for Rekognition, though less detail was provided about that implementation.

Building a competent, truly futuristic digital assistant is hard. According to Amazon's early tests, the latest Inferentia clusters produce the same results as Nvidia's T4 chips, but at 25 percent lower latency and 30 percent lower cost.