Google Assistant tops VC firm’s voice-assistant ‘IQ’ test
Mirror mirror on the wall, which is the smartest smart-speaker of them all? This is no fairytale: it’s a study by venture-capital firm Loup Ventures of the relative ‘IQs’ of the main voice assistants: Google Assistant,...
July 26, 2018
Alexa in the spotlight over sharing of private conversation
When privacy campaigners express concerns about the rise of smart speakers, the suggestion that big-tech firms are ‘listening in’ (and, indeed, potentially recording) private conversations is often raised as a worry. A story...
May 25, 2018
DeepMusic Alexa skill serves up AI-generated songs
Amid all the industry conversation about how smart speakers will affect the way people listen to music, the assumption has been that the music in question will be made by humans. Here’s a new Alexa skill to make you...
March 12, 2018
Survey claims early satisfaction with smart speakers is high
89% of Americans who’ve bought a smart speaker so far are satisfied with their device, according to a new survey published by investment firm Loup Ventures. “A closer look at the results reveals the reason for this...
February 22, 2018
Amazon Alexa gets new music-playlist creation features
Amazon hasn’t made a big deal of its latest smart-speaker feature, but it’s an extremely interesting development for anyone who’s been thinking about how playlists evolve in a world of voice control. Users – initially...
February 9, 2018
Storyline wants to help non-coders make Alexa skills
Here’s a startup slogan to make the music industry’s ears prick up: ‘Create Alexa skills without coding’. That’s the pitch for a new company called Storyline, which has developed a visual drag’n’drop interface...
February 5, 2018
Alexa may have own ‘opinions’ on entertainment in the future
Labels have been working hard to understand how smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa decide what music to play when, for example, an Echo owner asks for some ‘happy indie music from the 1990s’. These algorithms –...
January 16, 2018
Amazon launches Echo devices and Alexa in Japan
Amazon is continuing its slow-but-steady global rollout of its Echo smart speakers and Alexa voice assistant. Having launched the devices in India in October, now they’re debuting in a major music market: Japan. The...
November 8, 2017
Amazon steps up with new Echo devices and Alexa partnerships
Earlier this week we reported on Amazon adding its Alexa voice assistant to its flagship music app. That was just the teaser though: yesterday the company unveiled a swathe of new Echo speakers and devices, while also signifying...
September 28, 2017
Amazon gets frisky: ’Alexa, play baby-making music’
Whether the artists are ‘fake’ or not, we know all about the popularity of mood and context-based playlists on streaming services like Spotify. Now Amazon is taking that idea into the world of voice-controlled music with...
August 4, 2017
Amazon Alexa now has more than 15k skills available
Earlier this year, Amazon said that there were now more than 10,000 ’skills’ available for its Alexa voice assistant – its equivalent of apps for smartphones. Now that figure appears to have swelled to more than...
July 4, 2017