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Softly spoken interactions with Alexa now possible with new Whisper Mode

You don’t need to shout at Alexa anymore. From Thursday, October 18, Alexa’s Whisper Mode started to roll out to U.S. owners of Amazon’s digital assistant, though for now it only understands whispers in English.

Whisper Mode, which Amazon unveiled last month, could come in handy in a number of scenarios. For example, if you’re trying to get your littl’un off to sleep and want to keep the atmosphere in the room calm and quiet, then whispering a command such as “play a lullaby” will prompt Alexa to do just that.

Alternatively, barking requests at Alexa at the crack of dawn may have woken your bed partner on more than one occasion up to now. Hopefully, Whisper Mode will bring an end to that as well, with your quietly uttered commands — and Alexa’s whispered responses — helping to maintain a peaceful atmosphere in the bedroom in the early hours.

To make use of the new mode, you first need to turn it on. This can be done simply by saying, “Alexa, turn on Whisper Mode.” You can also enable it by tapping on Settings in the Alexa App, then Alexa Account, Alexa Voice Responses, and then turning on Whispered Responses.

Whisper Mode is part of an ongoing effort by Amazon to help Alexa better understand the situation around it and behave accordingly.

Rohit Prasad, the vice president and head scientist of the Alexa division at Amazon, talked earlier this year about his hopes for improving the way Alexa interacts with people.

“In the next five years, we will see conversational artificial intelligence get smarter on multiple dimensions as we make further advances with machine learning and reasoning,” Prasad said. “With these advances, we will see Alexa become more contextually aware in how she recognizes, understands, and responds to requests from users.”

By working with Amazon’s growing range of Echo smart speakers, Alexa can of course do so much more than simply tell you — whispered or not — the news headlines or weather forecast. Indeed, connected to various third-party devices, you can create a smart home that lets you control a range of devices via voice. Interested? Digital Trends offers up some useful ideas for the best Alexa-enabled smart home devices to get you started.

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