Amazon's Alexa is down for everyone right now

Amazon acquires Ring

No celebrities came to the rescue, however, as many in the US and Canada experienced unresponsiveness and a red ring with a message to try again later beginning around 9:30 a.m. EST. Context and a more sophisticated take on culture will make the assistant useful in real-time moments, as Yahoo reported based on several unnamed sources close to the project.

An Alexa "skill" already translates short sentences in English into 36 languages including Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian, Polish, Thai and many more - but just short phrases and words. Presumably, this functionality will be available from Amazon's app and Alexa app, too.

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Yahoo found that Alexa could soon help a native English speaker attending a meeting with Japanese business partners understand what those people are saying in Japanese. For example, asking the virtual assistant, "Alexa, what do I say to the father of the bride at a wedding in Japan?" would solicit a different response and tone from Alexa than if you asked the assistant "What do I say to the master of ceremonies at a wedding in Japan?"

Amazon does not have a page that tracks the status of consumer products and complaints. Samsung's Bixby voice assistant on its Galaxy phones is already capable of basic translations, while Bragi also created wireless earphones previous year that featured real-time translation. Google caused a stir when they demonstrated real-time translation via the Pixel Buds. This is still far off in the distant future, but it seems to show that Amazon is adamant in making Alexa the smartest voice assistant around. According to a new report, the company wants to turn Alexa into a real-time universal language translator.

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