Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant, is now available in Hindi for smartphone users in India. The Alexa app on Android and iOS now supports Hindi language and the development was shared on the first anniversary of Alexa's Hindi support in India. Over the past year, Alexa in Hindi added more than 60 new features and has shown significant improvement in speech recognition and language understanding.
“India's unique cultural and linguistic diversity has always inspired us to make Alexa more local and relevant for users in the country. Introducing Hindi made Alexa accessible to hundreds of millions of native Hindi speakers. We have made several improvements in Natural Language Understanding,” said Puneesh Kumar, country leader for Alexa, Amazon India, in a statement.
Citing an example of better language understanding, Kumar stated that in the initial days Alexa was unable to understand words like dhai (two-and-a-half) and tham jaa (stop), but now it can. The team will continue to make interactions in Hindi more natural and seamless, Kumar added.
In a press release, Amazon shared that the company has added more than 60 new features since the launch of Hindi support to Alexa last year. Six new Alexa original songs and poems along with 20 new stories in Hindi have also been added to the voice assistant's database. Users in India can now use commands like “Alexa, kuch gungunao” (Alexa, hum something), “Alexa, cloud rap sunao” (Alexa, play cloud rap), “Alexa, cricket story sunao” (Alexa, tell me a story on cricket), or “Alexa, dosti ki kahani sunao” (Alexa, tell me a story on friendship).
As per Amazon, Alexa has shown 40 percent improvement in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and 30 percent improvement in Natural Language Understanding (NLU) over the past year. It has also added more than 1,000 Hindi Skills in India.
Hindi language support was first added to Amazon Echo devices in September last year. Now, the Alexa app on Android and iOS devices has also received Hindi support. To switch to Hindi, open the Alexa app, head to Settings > Alexa on this phone > Language, then select हिंदी (Hindi) from available languages.
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