The E-commerce company Amazon has added a new feature for its Alexa voice assistant that would let one make subsequent requests without needing to repeat one’s Echo speaker’s wake word. The company’s new setting “follow-up mode” won’t let nest one request into another but would let ask to make multiple requests back to back. For example, one would not be able to ask Alexa to change the temperature and turn off the lights in the same breath but can make one request and back it up with another without needing to repeat “Alexa”.

The “follow-up mode” functions by letting Alexa go on listening for up to five seconds after the first command is made. This is marked by the blue ring on an Echo device that stays lit up. As the blue light ceases, Alexa goes back into the sleep mode and wakes up with a custom wake word or phrase like “Hey Alexa.” There are certain twists here that Amazon might need ironing out. For example, the “follow-up mode” works only when Alexa is sure that the second command is not a mere background noise.

Though it is not clear as to how that works, Nevertheless, it probably is safe to be said that this feature may not function all of the time at first, or may end up registering some untrue positives from a Netflix show initially until Amazon over the time refines the follow-up mode. The company said that Alexa could be put back into the sleep mode by using the words “stop” or “thank you” in order to end a string of commands that may probably make conversations with digital voice assistants more compatible. Some debates have already come up regarding the best way to have a conversation with voice-based AI software. Companies like Amazon are powerful enough to build the interfaces of these devices to ease out definite user behaviors.

According to the reports, the “follow-up mode” is opt-in and available for every device in the Echo lineup and some third-party Echo devices as well. As of now, the “follow-up” mode is available only in English and works only when Alexa is not being used for another continual activity.


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