New Delhi: Amazon on Tuesday announced that developers can now start building Alexa skills for customers in India with the new Hindi voice model available in Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).
Developers would get a headstart and submit skills for certification as the company prepare to offer engaging experiences for Alexa users in one of the most spoken languages in the country, the company said in a statement. Commercial hardware manufacturers who want to develop Alexa Built-in products for Hindi-speaking customers in India can request early access to the invite-only Alexa Voice Service (AVS) developer preview.
The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa. Amazon last year launched a new category of skill called "Cleo" that enables customers in India to help Alexa learn Hindi and other languages. The idea was to improve Alexa`s language model and help her gradually speak in local languages. Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa`s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages.
Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 language variants. One can sign up for the first webinar on Hindi skill-building scheduled on July 24. Developers in India who have their Hindi-language skill certified for publication in India before July 31 would receive exclusive early-bird Alexa merchandise.
Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, told IANS recently that the company is working on infusing regional languages capabilities in Alexa for the Indian market but these are early days. Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between.