Amazon India announced the fourth anniversary of Alexa in India. In the last 4 years millions of Indian customers have used the Alexa voice service in English, Hindi and Hinglish on Echo range of devices, Fire TV, Amazon shopping app for Android, and Alexa built-in devices by other brands. With almost 50% customers from non-metro cities, the number of requests to Alexa in 2021 increased by 68% since the previous year.
“We are constantly working to make Alexa more useful and delightful for customers in India with launches such as our most advanced Echo Show 10 with intelligent motion, India’s first celebrity voice with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, and the Mahindra XUV700 vehicle with Alexa built-in”, said Puneesh Kumar, Country Leader for Alexa, Amazon India. “Many customers have shared feedback that having Alexa around makes life more fun, convenient and productive. This encouragement helps us to continue innovating and work like it’s still day one.” Customers can avail up to 50% off on Amazon Echo range of smart speakers and displays, up to 43% off on Fire TV devices, up to 30% off on smart home gadgets and Alexa built-in devices by brands such as OnePlus, boAt, Wipro, Panasonic, Xiaomi & more. These deals are available for 48 hours; from 12 AM on 15th February 2022 till 11:59 PM on 16th February 2022. Check out the deals here: https://www.amazon.in/alexadeals.
Most popular requests to Alexa in 2021
Customers in India interact with Alexa multiple times in a day in English, Hindi and Hinglish. Alexa entertained customers by playing more than 21.6 Lakh songs every day, genre such as kids, devotional and regional language were extremely prominent in the top 20 songs. As the Alexa smart home selection increased by 72% yoy with new products from brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Hindware, and Atomberg, Alexa responded to over 2.6 Lakh requests for controlling smart home appliances every day. From sports, movie dialogs, and word definitions to tough math problems, weather, and the latest stock market updates, customers quizzed Alexa with around 1.7 Lakh questions every day. During March-April’21, customers asked 11,500 questions every day about COVID, health and wellness related topics. Customers also loved starting and concluding their days with Alexa, they wished “Alexa, good morning” and “Alexa, good night” 11,520 times every day.
Improvements in Alexa’s speech science
Improving Alexa’s understanding of customer requests in English, Hindi and a mixed language such as Hinglish in various Indian dialects and accents is very complex and requires deep science and invention by the Alexa science team. In 2021, with a move to neural speech recognition technology, Alexa became more accurate in understanding user queries and we reduced Automatic Speech Recognition errors by 25%. The team also drove numerous initiatives towards algorithmic improvement of Alexa’s understanding of English and Hindi, leading to 27% improvement in Alexa’s Natural Language Understanding. They equipped Alexa with hundreds of new words from the Hindi vocabulary, used machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to help Alexa understand different ways in which customers can ask for the same information. These improvements have made interactions with Alexa more natural.
Recap of new Alexa features and devices
The year 2021 was special because customers were able to interact with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan’s voice on Alexa and ask for stories from his life, a selection of poems by his father, tongue twisters, motivational quotes, and more. The most popular requests included fun questions such as “Amit ji, Kitne aadmi the”, anecdotes from his childhood and stories from his movies like Sholay.
Customers now have more options to access Alexa. In 2021, Amazon launched a fresh line-up of devices such as All-New Echo Show 10, Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen), Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen), Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick 4K Max with Alexa Voice Remote. Echo Show devices come with a camera shutter for additional privacy, as well as multiple accessibility features that can be set up using the touchscreen. Brands such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, boAt, Zebronics and Noise launched Alexa built-in smartphones, smart watches, speakers and more. Mahindra launched the XUV700, now customers can enjoy hands-free control of vehicle-functions along with the full Alexa experience when they are on the go.