At its Amazon Alexa event last month, Amazon announced a new feature called whisper mode. The feature essentially enables Alexa to whisper when you whisper to it. It was announced to arrive in a couple of weeks, and now the company has reportedly confirmed that the Whisper Mode is now being rolled out to users in the US. This is one of the many attempts by Amazon to become context aware, and alongside whisper mode, Amazon had also launched Alexa Guard which will essentially make the voice assistant aware of smoke alarms, glass breaking, and other important noises.
TechCrunch reports that the whisper mode is rolling out to users in the US, and works in US English only for now. It is disabled by default, and users in the US will have to enable it via the Alexa app. Head to Settings > Alexa account > Alexa voice responses > Whispered responses to enable whisper mode. Separately, you can also turn it on by using the voice command, " Alexa, turn on whisper mode."
In order to bring whisper mode, the team had to build a neural network to figure out when you are whispering and the text-to-speech team had to figure out how to have Alexa whisper and play a lullaby.
Apart from this, Alexa is also set to get more conversational with a new feature called Follow-Up coming soon. It looks to bring contextual conversations to Alexa. For example, "What's the weather in LA?" leads to info, "how far is it?" leads to the answer, and "recommend a restaurant there" will give eatery suggestions.