Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, is evolving into a chatbot for almost every new Echo device, according to Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices and Services. The company has developed a purpose-built large language model (LLM) to enhance Alexa’s conversational capabilities. Amazon aimed to create a more natural interaction by studying the elements that make a great conversation, including body language, understanding the person being addressed, eye contact, and gestures. Despite these efforts, there were some noticeable glitches during the demonstration, such as Alexa mistakenly suggesting “BBQ chicken and sides” instead of inviting friends over for a BBQ. The integration of the LLM into Echo devices aims to improve Alexa’s conversational abilities, but it still has some room for improvement.
In other news, Apple is introducing a new method of interaction called Double Tap with its Apple Watch Series 9. This feature allows users to interact with the watch by tapping on the screen. Additionally, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are the company’s first carbon-neutral products, emphasizing their commitment to sustainability.
MGM Resorts recently experienced a cyberattack that shut down systems across the company. The ALPHV ransomware group claimed responsibility for the attack, which started through identity management vendor Okta. This incident highlights the vulnerabilities companies face regarding cybersecurity and the importance of robust security measures.
Amazon is also incorporating new accessibility features into its devices. Eye Gaze on Alexa enables individuals with mobility or speech disabilities to use their gaze for preset actions on the Fire Max 11 tablet. Additionally, Amazon is introducing a Call Translation feature that transcribes Alexa calls on Echo Show devices into multiple languages.
As technology continues to evolve, companies like Amazon and Apple strive to enhance their products and services, focusing on improving user experiences and accessibility while addressing security concerns. These advancements will undoubtedly shape the future of technology and redefine how we interact with digital assistants and smart devices.