Alexa is the brains behind the Amazon Echo range of smart home speakers, but is also available as a smart assistant in a range of phones and Amazon's Fire TV devices. To get a culturally aware translation, the user must be a little more specific when talking to Alexa.
More changes will happen to Alexa.
Alexa can already translate short phrases and words in Spanish, German, French and Italian but cannot decipher more meaningful or contextual situations that languages often need. Amazon Alexa and Echo are down across the US.
Others are trying similar tactics-the Google Translate app can translate a two-way conversation with an internet connection, though without the promise of understanding cultural context.
The outage has evoked comparisons Amazon's Super Bowl ad in which the digital assistant looses its voice and is replaced by less-than-helpful celebrities. The chip is expected to power Alexa's artificial intelligence features, and may be a component for whenever the real-time language translation service will be rolled out. Like with the Pixel Buds, Bragi's own device wasn't met with much success, as pointed out by The Verge.
For years people have dreamed about creating the real-world Babel Fish, that lovely creature imagined by Douglas Adams as being able to automatically translate all languages in real time. This is still far off in the distant future, but it seems to show that Amazon is adamant in making Alexa the smartest voice assistant around.