Alexa Entities Launches to General Availability

Emma Flint Jul 21, 2021
Build Content Skills
Announcing General Availability for Alexa Entities

We are excited to announce that Alexa Entities is now generally available for English locales (en-US, en-GB, en-CA, en-AU and en-IN). Alexa Entities provides access to Alexa’s high-quality, continuously updated Knowledge Graph containing facts about popular entities including people (e.g. George Clooney’s birthday), places (e.g. the population and capital of Belgium) and things (e.g. the average weight of a hippo). Alexa Entities are automatically returned in your skill’s intent request for supported Built-in Slot Types, which can be used to fetch additional knowledge via an API request from your skill’s code.

Alexa Entities makes it easier to build skills with general knowledge, because you no longer need to source, acquire or maintain your own data. The Knowledge Graph is automatically updated when Alexa learns new facts about the world, for example when a new movie is released.

You can also use Alexa Entities to make skills more engaging, intelligent or helpful. For example:

  • To help customers disambiguate between entities with the same name - “Did you mean Anne Hathaway, born in 1556, or the actress in films such as Les Miserables?”
  • To add “fun facts” to your skill - “Did you know? Giant tortoises can live to 100 years old!”
  • To make recommendations to customers - “Add Alias Grace to my reading list.” “Got it. Have you thought about reading The Testaments, also written by Margaret Atwood in 2019?”
  • To make skills more natural, for example using the past tense when Alexa knows that an entity has died - “Marie Curie was a Polish-born physicist who won two Nobel Prizes for her work on radioactivity.”
  • And many more!

Alexa Entities is currently supported on the following 14 Built-in Slot Types: (1) AMAZON.Person, (2) AMAZON.Movie, (3) AMAZON.Animal, (4) AMAZON.City, (5) AMAZON.Country, (6) AMAZON.Book, (7) AMAZON.Author, (8) AMAZON.TVSeries, (9) AMAZON.Actor, (10) AMAZON.Director, (11) AMAZON.MusicGroup, (12) AMAZON.Musician, (13) AMAZON.MusicRecording, (14) AMAZON.MusicAlbum. If you are extending a Built-in Slot Type with your own values, you can still use Alexa Entities - Alexa Entities will resolve as an independent authority that can be used alongside your developer-provided catalog.

Get Started with Alexa Entities
To get started, simply rebuild your skill’s interaction model to start receiving Alexa Entity IDs. To learn more, visit the developer documentation here. You can also find code samples here. To understand how Alexa Entities can help you build better skills, and see a step-by-step demo , you can watch our Alexa Tech Talk here.

Find us on the Alexa Community Slack at #alexa-entities to ask questions, provide feedback and engage with other developers.