question

zac avatar image
zac asked

Alias lookup for echo

instead of always having to say " alexa, ask XXX to do XXX" why not have an alias file, that alexa , if it cant recognize a command, then goes and looks in this file to try to match it, and then uses the alias. for example, if i created an app to have alexa turn on my TV though my home automation system, it could look in the alias file for "turn on my tv" and alias that to " ask XXX to turn on my TV" instantly we would not need all the "ask" which often leads to mis interpretation
alexa skills kit
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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta answered
Hmm. Right now there is a clear distinction between stuff Amazon provides, and stuff 3rd parties provide. I suspect this is intentional and important in a legal and competition sense. Legal: if something goes wrong (e.g. you trip and break yourself because you were distracted by the Echo and sue) it's an easier defense for Amazon (a big target) to clearly direct the litigation at the skill writers. Marketing: having a (small) usability barrier between what they make and what 3rd parties make means third parties are not in direct competition. (e.g. my Knock Knock skill is a little harder to use, therefore they don't have to consider it a "threat" to their tell-me-a-knock-knock service). I'm not saying it isn't a great idea, that a lot of people would benefit from. I wish it was there. I could remap the default knock-knock to my own one. I'm just saying I suspect Amazon might have competing reasons for not doing it. But I'd love to be proved wrong.
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Deanne avatar image
Deanne answered
I think this is a critical scenario for 3rd party devices that implement controls using AVS. If a device had a set of actuators that would be commonly used (like channel up/down on a set top box), users would have to utter a huge command... "Alexa, Tell to change to channel 174" In the case of hardware partners, the notion of who would be liable is pretty moot as its not Amazon hardware and the OEM making the hardware might implement The solution with a Mic button instead of "Alexa" wake word. I think this would be a really big blocker for building HW solutions on AVS .
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Deanne avatar image
Deanne answered
I would also add that device controls actually might be more critical than the native Alexa commands themselves. I think it would be a bad experience if Alexa found a wikipedia match for a set top box command "Alexa, switch to ESPN", "From Wikipedia... Founded in 1978, ESPN is a cable sports network in Bristol Conneticut."
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