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Jeepers creepers! Amazon’s Alexa can now talk a whole bunch of UK slang. Cha-ching!

OH, MY GIDDY AUNT! Amazon has added a number of new ‘Speechcons’ to its Alexa Skills Kit aimed specifically at making Alexa powered devices more… well, human. Mazel tov.

‘Ooh La La’ we hear you cry. Well, read ‘em and weep because the list of idioms aimed at the British market has been… cha0ching… enhanced with a whole bunch of largely meaningless words and phrases made to give Echo and other devices that use the tech, a bit less robot-y. Booya!

Amongst the codswallop are some phrases which are… dun dun dun… spectacular, including ‘geronimo’, ‘great scott’ ‘’jimminy cricket’ ‘spoiler alert’ and ‘whoops a daisy’, plus a bunch of others, yadda yadda yadda.

‘Wowza’ we hear you cry. Well, that’s not all because she’s also been given some new Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) tags (sort of digital verbal ticks) to improve her breathing cadence and ability to whisper, all of which give her a bit more of a human quality. Zoinks. Yeah, we know, it’s creepy but read ’em and weep.

Amazon explains; “The new functionality is useful for skills like those that include long-form audio where Alexa should take a breath between long sentences or whisper for dramatic effect.”

It could be connected to the recent launch of the Amazon Echo Look, which would allow Alexa to whisper ‘you look a f*cking state’ when the situation warrants.

The fact that many of these phrases, though in common parlance, aren’t actually of British origin (d’oh!) is a reflection of the multicultural melting pot we limeys actually are, so it’s a proper ‘good riddance’ to the rather stilted phrases that Alexa is currently limited to.

Many of the phrases are already in the US version but these additions to the UK English lexicon will make it even more appealing for UK developers to write ‘skills’ for the local market.

You can also now add an expletive bleep if you don’t want her to swear her little head off, which we rather suspect that Amazon would prefer you make her do didn’t either.

You can see and hear the full list of words and phrases here.

Simples. µ



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