Skip to main content

Alexa will automatically boot up personal app preferences based on your voice

alexa amazon echo header
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

In October, Google announced a new feature on the Google Home platform: The ability to recognize individual users’ voices, meaning that when you ask Google to play music on Spotify, you no longer have to endure your partner’s Britney Spears playlist — even for a second — before you direct the device to switch to your own playlist. Not to be outdone, Amazon Alexa introduced the same feature around the same time period. Now, when customers in the U.S. address Alexa, the smart assistant will recognize their voices automatically.

If you say, “Alexa, play music,” she now select tracks and playlists personalized for Amazon Music customers without requiring any extra setup or enrollment. This new feature can be managed within the Alexa App under the Settings tab.

This feature builds upon a now seven-month functionality of Alexa’s. Though she was already a smarty-pants, last fall, she gained the ability to decipher whether you, your child, or a guest playing a joke on you might’ve been trying to order 10 bags of chocolate chip cookies via your Echo device. At the company’s re:Invent conference, Amazon announced that Alexa developers will be granted access to voice-specific technology. And by the beginning of 2018, Amazon’s “Your Voice” technology was giving developers the option of building personalized experiences into new skills.

To set up a voice profile as an Alexa user, you need to go to the Amazon Alexa app on your phone. Go to account settings, select Your Voice, and then select your profile name. Now, no longer will you have to say several phrases in order for Alexa to learn your voice — rather, she’ll do it automatically. If you want to add other people to your Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show, you need to have them sign into their own account on their own Alexa app. You can also choose the “I’m someone else” option on the app, then train their voice on the device in the same way you did for yourself.

After you create a voice profile, Alexa will call you by name and give you personalized answers. So when you ask Alexa to add laundry detergent to your shopping list, she will automatically add the item rather than having to clarify which shopping list you want it added to. And soon, you may be able to tailor some of the more than 15,000 Alexa skills to individual users with the developer capabilities.

You can delete your voice profile at any time in the app and voice profiles not used for three years will automatically be deleted. If you deactivate a device, your voice profile information will automatically be deleted from the cloud.

Updated on May 18: Alexa now recognizes individual voices automatically. 

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Adding AI to Alexa is the brain transplant we’ve all been waiting for
The Amazon Echo Show 8 at the Devices Event 2023.

“Alexa, turn the kitchen to cooking mode," my wife innocently requests.

“What do you mean by cooking mode?” her digital tormentor needles.

Read more
At long last, Amazon brings AI features to Alexa
Amazon SVP of Devices and Services Dave Limp demonstrates the Let's Chat feature of Alexa, powered by AI.

Nearly a year after ChatGPT introduced the world to the uncannily human possibilities of generative AI, Amazon has unveiled new Alexa features powered by large language models (LLM). At the annual Amazon Devices Event hosted at its new Arlington, Virginia, headquarters, the company announced some major Alexa improvements that will attempt to make replies much more conversational and lifelike, with less waiting time between your interactions and more meaningful replies.

A new feature called Let's Chat mimics the ChatGPT experience by allowing you to have a fluid conversation with Alexa, asking questions about everything from the voice assistant's football team allegiance to recipes. You can even ask it to write emails for you. In the demo with Dave Limp, outgoing senior vice president of devices and services, Alexa sometimes stalled and needed a second prompt to answer questions, suggesting the feature may still need some polish.

Read more
What is Amazon Alexa, and what can it do?
Echo 4th Gen speaker on table.

Amazon Alexa is an interactive voice assistant that can check the weather, launch your favorite playlist, and everything in between. Alexa can be found on most Amazon products, including the new Echo Pop, the iconic Echo Dot, and even a variety of smart thermostats, soundbars, lamps, and more. Aside from taking basic commands from you, Alexa can also dish out commands to the rest of your connected smart home -- making it easy to streamline your life.

Interested in learning more about Amazon Alexa? Then you’re in the right place. Here’s a closer look at where Alexa comes from, how it works, where it got its name, and just about everything else you’d want to know about the popular voice assistant and smart home savant.
Who/what is Alexa?

Read more