Amazon’s Echoism Browser Feature Part Of Greater Voice-Recognition Artificial Intelligence Push

Tags : Amazon, Echo, Echoism, AI, Alexa
(Photo : Twitter/AmazonEcho) Amazon's Echoism is part of the $100 million Alexa Fund initiative to bring AI to more devices.

Users who don't want to pay the $180 for the Amazon Echo smart-speaker can now test the system's features in their web browser with Echoism, according to Mashable.

After signing into with any Amazon account credentials, a user can start speaking with the cloud-based voice service "Alexa" as if they had an Echo in their home.

Amazon's 9.25-inch cylindrical Echo speaker uses voice interaction, where users ask Alexa questions or request music. Browser testing of these features is just one way Amazon is trying to get Alexa into cars, homes and phones.

Popular Science reported Amazon's release of two seperate toolkit packages: Alexa Voice Service and Alexa Skills Kit. These will allow companies to add new functionality and integrate Alexa into various devices including smart yard products and robotic vacuums.

In May, Amazon also started testing its voice service Lexi for mobile, Mashable reported. Developments to Alexa's AI are happening under Amazon's $100 million Alexa Fund which aims to further voice-enabled artificial intelligence innovation.

Alexa Fund Members include Sutro, a startup focused on creating the smart pool that regulates temperature and requests chemicals when needed. The company Garageio is working on a garage door "Blackbox" that can open a garage from anywhere on Earth.

Amazon's Alexa Fund even incorporates the France-based Invoxia which has produced one of the earliest competitors of the Echo. Invoxia's Triby Wi-Fi kitchen speaker allows users to make calls and check weather through voice-commands.

The ultimate goal of initiatives like the Alexa Fund is to eliminate the barriers involved in getting complicated AI services to work on various devices. These efforts are part of a greater computing trend first discussed by Wark Weiser, a chief scientist at Xerox PARC.

Weiser coined the term "ubiquitous computing" to describe a world where every object, electronic or otherwise, has the interactive capability of a computer, according to Amazon's AI ambitions are beginning to sound much like this concept.

Making Alexa ubiquitous by placing it in more devices means it gets input from more people. As Alexa's has more interactions its voice service will get more sophisticated.

However, such pervasive and improving artificial intelligence does not come without cautions from tech leaders.

According to The Washington Post, Bill Gates, Clive Sinclair and Elon Musk have given warnings regarding artificial intelligence, with the SpaceX and Tesla CEO calling self-improving AI "our biggest existential threat."

Alexa will likely break out of its 9-inch Echo speaker and move into new devices with the help of numerous companies working with the Alexa Fund.

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