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Alexa Blogs Alexa Developer Blogs /blogs/alexa/feed/entries/atom 2019-04-18T17:16:33+00:00 Apache Roller /blogs/alexa/post/c4396c3c-ecf6-45c8-a3f7-e6e026b240af/musicplode-media-uses-in-skill-purchasing-to-turn-its-beat-the-intro-voice-game-into-a-hit-for-alexa-customers Musicplode Media Uses In-Skill Purchasing to Turn Its “Beat the Intro” Voice Game into a Hit for Alexa Customers Jennifer King 2019-04-18T14:00:00+00:00 2019-04-18T14:00:00+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>Learn how the Beat the Intro game skill is helping media and entertainment marketing company Musicplode reach more customers, build brand awareness, and generate revenue with in-skill purchasing (ISP).</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p>According to founder and CEO Kevin Deakin, <a href="" target="_blank">Musicplode Media Ltd</a> is a media and entertainment marketing company—not a game maker. But the creator of the popular UK radio music quiz show, Beat the Intro, saw voice-first gaming as a new frontier and an opportunity to further grow his company. To Deakin and managing director Dave Brown, a streaming music quiz game seemed a natural fit for Alexa. Today, the <a href="" target="_blank">Beat the Intro</a> game skill is helping Musicplode reach more customers, build brand awareness, and generate revenue with <a href="">in-skill purchasing (ISP)</a>.</p> <p>“Many people use Alexa devices for streaming music, so we felt voice was the perfect medium for a music-based game like Beat the Intro,” says Brown. “And with over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices out there, it gave us an opportunity to grow our brand, engage more customers, and monetize our efforts by offering premium content that customers love.&quot;</p> <p><a href="">Beat the Intro</a> tests Alexa customers’ music knowledge with a variety of free gameplay rounds. The skill also offers players a monthly subscription with unlimited play and a library of categorized music packs. Trying to guess the names and artists of the music tracks is so engaging that customers are eager to extend their playtime by signing up for the monthly subscription. Today, Brown and Deakin are seeing a 45% offer-to-purchase conversion rate and a 4-star rating in the Alexa Skills Store.</p> <p>“With Alexa and in-skill purchasing, we have the opportunity to engage audiences with our own brand and build a revenue stream at the same time,” says Brown.</p> <h2>Alexa Provides an Opportunity to Breathe New Life into a Popular Music Game</h2> <p>The original idea for Beat the Intro came from a marketing campaign Deakin created for a London radio broadcaster. The radio DJs would play snippets of songs and invite listeners to guess the song title and artist. Deakin eventually developed the music quiz into a DVD-based game and was planning to create a mobile version in 2015 when he first discovered Alexa. Given the potential, he immediately pivoted Musicplode’s game development strategy to focus on voice games.</p> <p>“I rushed off to the Amazon store in Seattle and bought an Echo to bring back to London,” says Brown. “We felt from the outset Alexa was such a natural medium for games like Beat the Intro, so we immediately started scoping out how we could use Alexa—not mobile devices—to bring our game to life.”</p> <p>The Beat the Intro game skill starts off by presenting the Daily Challenge, which provides three new song tracks for players to guess every day. After that, customers can play another round of seven musical questions each per day. Players can choose from three play modes: solo (against a simulated challenger), team mode for two groups of participants, or multiple player mode which allows up to four players with Echo Buttons to battle it out.</p> <p>Beside its engaging game design with fun music content, Musicplode uses <a href="">SSML</a> to delight customers by using a blend of human voices (like Moozzo, the game’s wacky host) and a variety of unusual sound effects in addition to Alexa, who is the voice of the announcer and scorekeeper.</p> <p>“To engage customers for long periods of time, we used radio production-quality techniques throughout the skill, like human voices, layering voiceovers on the music tracks, and clever audio effects like a ‘sting’ at the end of a track,” says Brown. “Techniques like that make Beat the Intro stand out from other skills.”</p> <h2>Offering Premium Content Ups Gameplay Even Further</h2> <p>Given its popularity, Beat the Intro quickly started earning money through <a href="">Alexa Developer Rewards</a>, a program that pays developers for eligible skills with some of the highest customer engagement. But the Musicplode team wanted to deepen engagement by giving customers more of what they love, not to mention creating a more predictable revenue stream for the game. For this, they turned to monetizing their skill using ISP.</p> <p>“Getting rewards checks in the post every month was nice, but these weren't at a level that would sustain a business like ours,” says Brown. “With in-skill purchasing, we knew we’d found a perfect way to monetize our game, while giving players a richer experience.”</p> <p>When Beat the Intro launched its premium content in August 2018, it offered players the features they most requested: to extend their gameplay and customize the game experience with music categories of their choice. To show customers the value of the premium content, Beat the Intro offers a free 14-day trial that customers can cancel any time. If they opt to purchase Beat the Intro Unlimited—a subscription for $2.99 a month and a discount for Amazon Prime members—customers can play an unlimited number of game rounds and select music from a particular decade or genre.</p> <p>With an impressive 45% conversion rate and a 4.0-star rating in the Alexa Skills Store—not to mention being named one of Amazon’s top skills of 2018—Musicplode has a winning skill to engage customers and build its brand.</p> <p>With in-skill purchasing, Beat the Intro is building a base of engaged customers who are more than willing to purchase premium content to extend their gameplay. Players describe the skill as a great game for those who love music with “lots of genres and songs.” Some have left reviews describing how the skill is “challenging and fun” and like the experience of seeing where they rank against other players.</p> <p>“We're constantly updating our content by adding new tracks and genres on a regular basis, as well as special packs for major sporting events and awards,” says Brown. “This allows us to keep the game fresh, which helps us delight and retain our customers.”</p> <h2>Voice-First Games with In-Skill Purchasing Offers a Ripe Opportunity for Business</h2> <p>Voice is the next frontier in gaming, evidenced by the popularity of hit game skills like Beat the Intro. With the opportunities for developers to create engaging voice-first games for Alexa and make money with in-skill purchasing, Brown says Musicplode plans to continue investing in voice and building their brand presence though Alexa.</p> <p>“The combination of Alexa, voice-first games, and in-skill purchasing gives companies like ours the ability to create engaging voice-first games, reach more customers than ever, and build a sustainable revenue stream for their voice business,” says Brown.</p> <h2>Related Content</h2> <ul> <li><a href="">Sell Premium Content to Enrich Your Skill Experience</a></li> <li><a href="">Hypno Therapist Alexa Skill Uses In-Skill Purchasing to Reach More Customers and Build a Business</a></li> <li><a href="">In-Skill Purchasing Takes Volley’s Thriving Voice Business to the Next Level</a></li> <li><a href="">With In-Skill Purchasing, Gal Shenar Sets His Growing Voice Business Up for Long-Term Success</a></li> <li><a href="">Alexa Game Skill “Would You Rather for Family” Adds In-Skill Purchasing and Sees Revenue Growth</a></li> <li><a href="">The Vortex, an Alexa Game Skill from Doppio, Delivers a Double Shot of Customer Engagement with In-Skill Purchasing</a></li> </ul> <h2>Make Money by Creating Engaging Voice Games Customers Love</h2> <p>With ISP, you can sell premium content to enrich your Alexa skill experience. ISP supports one-time purchases for entitlements that unlock access to features or content in your skill, subscriptions that offer access to premium features or content for a period of time, and consumables which can be purchased and depleted. You define your premium offering and price, and we handle the voice-first purchasing flow. <a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=WB&amp;sc_campaign=wb_acquisition&amp;sc_publisher=ASK&amp;sc_content=Content&amp;sc_detail=vod-webinar&amp;sc_funnel=Convert&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_medium=Owned_WB_wb_acquisition_ASK_Content_vod-webinar_Convert_WW_visitors_makemoney-page_CTA-graphic&amp;sc_segment=visitors&amp;sc_place=makemoney-page&amp;sc_trackingcode=CTA-graphic" target="_blank">Download our introductory guide</a> to learn more.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/9436a0fd-34d1-4121-8479-074e6a8c7c0f/two-new-papers-discuss-how-alexa-recognizes-sounds Two New Papers Discuss How Alexa Recognizes Sounds Larry Hardesty 2019-04-18T13:08:39+00:00 2019-04-18T13:08:39+00:00 <p>Alexa scientists use semi-supervised learning and &quot;pyramidal&quot; neural networks to address the problems of sound identification and media detection.</p> <p>Last year, Amazon announced the beta release of Alexa Guard, a new service that lets customers who are leaving the house instruct their Echo devices to listen for glass breaking or smoke and carbon dioxide alarms going off.</p> <p>At this year’s International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, our team is presenting several papers on sound detection. I wrote about <a href="" target="_blank">one of them</a> a few weeks ago, a new method for doing machine learning with unbalanced data sets.</p> <p>Today I’ll briefly discuss two others, both of which, like the first, describe machine learning systems. <a href="" target="_blank">One paper</a> addresses the problem of media detection, or recognizing when the speech captured by a digital-assistant device comes from a TV or radio rather than a human speaker. In particular, we develop a way to better characterize media audio by examining longer-duration audio streams versus merely classifying short audio snippets. Media detection helps filter a particularly deceptive type of background noise out of speech signals.&nbsp;</p> <p>For our <a href="" target="_blank">other paper</a>, we used semi-supervised learning to train a system developed from an external dataset to do audio event detection. Semi-supervised learning uses small sets of annotated training data to leverage larger sets of unannotated data. In particular, we use tri-training, in which three different models are trained to perform the same task, but on slightly different data sets. Pooling their outputs corrects a common problem in semi-supervised training, in which a model’s errors end up being amplified.</p> <p>Our media detection system is based on the observation that the audio characteristics we would most like to identify are those common to all instances of media sound, regardless of content. Our network design is an attempt to abstract away from the properties of particular training examples.</p> <p>Like many machine learning models in the field of spoken-language understanding, ours uses recurrent neural networks (RNNs). An RNN processes sequenced inputs in order, and each output factors in the inputs and outputs that preceded it.&nbsp;</p> <p>We use a convolutional neural network (CNN) as feature extractor, and stack RNN layers on top of it. But each RNN layer has only a fraction as many nodes as the one beneath it. That is, only every third or fourth output from the first RNN provides an input to the second, and only every third or fourth output of the second RNN provides an input to the third.</p> <p><img alt="Pyramidal.jpg" src="" style="display:block; height:68px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:550px" /></p> <p style="text-align:center">&nbsp;<em><sup>A standard stack of recurrent neural networks (left) and the “pyramidal” stack we use instead</sup></em></p> <p>Because the networks are recurrent, each output we pass contains information about the outputs we skip. But this “pyramidal” stacking encourages the model to ignore short-term variations in the input signal.</p> <p>For every five-second snippet of audio processed by our system, the pyramidal RNNs produce a single output vector, representing the probabilities that the snippet belongs to any of several different sound categories.</p> <p>But our system includes still another RNN, which tracks relationships between five-second snippets. We experimented with two different ways of integrating that higher-level RNN with the pyramidal RNNs. In the first, the output vector from the pyramidal RNN simply passes to the higher-level RNN, which makes the final determination about whether media sound is present.</p> <p>In the other, however, the higher-level RNN lies <em>between</em> the middle and top layers of the pyramidal RNN. It receives its input from the middle layer, and its output, along with that of the middle layer, passes to the top layer of the pyramidal RNN.</p> <p><img alt="contextual_2.jpg" src="" style="display:block; height:218px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:550px" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em><sub>In the second of our two contextual models, a high-level RNN (red circles) receives inputs from one layer of a<br /> pyramidal RNN (groups of five blue circles), and its output passes to the next layer (groups of two blue circles).</sub></em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>This was our best-performing model. When compared to a model that used the pyramidal RNNs but no higher-level RNN, it offered a 24% reduction in equal error rate, which is the error rate that results when the system parameters are set so that the false-positive rate equals the false-negative rate.</p> <p>Our other ICASSP paper presents our semi-supervised approach to audio event detection (AED). One popular and simple semi-supervised learning technique is self-training, in which a machine learning model is trained on a small amount of labeled data and then itself labels a much larger set of unlabeled data. The machine-labeled data is then sorted according to confidence score — the system’s confidence that its labels are correct — and data falling in the right confidence window is used to fine-tune the model.</p> <p>The model, that is, is retrained on data that it has labeled itself. Remarkably, this approach tends to improve the model’s performance.</p> <p>But it also poses a risk. If the model makes a systematic error, and if it makes it with high confidence, then that error will feed back into the model during self-training, growing in magnitude.</p> <p>Tri-training is intended to mitigate this kind of self-reinforcement. In our experiments, we created three different training sets, each the size of the original — 39,000 examples — by randomly sampling data from the original. There was substantial overlap between the sets, but in each, some data items were oversampled, and some were undersampled.</p> <p>We trained neural networks on all three data sets and saved copies of them, which we might call initial models. Then we used each of those networks to label another 5.4 million examples. For each of the initial models, we used machine-labeled data to re-train it only if both of the other models agreed on the labels with high confidence. In all, we retained only 5,000 examples out of the more than five million in the unlabeled data set.</p> <p>Finally, we used six different models to classify the examples in our test set: the three initial models and the three retrained models. On samples of three sounds — dog sounds, baby cries, and gunshots — pooling the results of all six models led to reductions in equal-error rate (EER) of 16%, 26%, and 19%, respectively, over a standard self-trained model.</p> <p>Of course, using six different models to process the same input is impractical, so we also trained a seventh neural network to mimic the aggregate results of the first six. On the test set, that network was not quite as accurate as the six-network ensemble, but it was still a marked improvement over the standard self-trained model, reducing EER on the same three sample sets by 11%, 18%, and 6%, respectively.</p> <p><em>Ming Sun is a senior speech scientist in the Alexa Speech group.</em></p> <p><strong>Papers</strong>:<br /> “<a href="" target="_blank">Hierarchical Residual-Pyramidal Model for Large Context Based Media Presence Detection</a>”<br /> “<a href="" target="_blank">Semi-Supervised Acoustic Event Detection Based on Tri-Training</a>”</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Alexa science</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Acknowledgments</strong>: Qingming Tang, <a href="" target="_blank">Chieh-Chi Kao</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Viktor Rozgic</a>, Bowen Shi, Spyros Matsoukas, Chao Wang</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">How Alexa Learns</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Audio Watermarking Algorithm Is First to Solve &quot;Second-Screen Problem&quot; in Real Time</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">To Correct Imbalances in Training Data, Don’t Oversample: Cluster</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Why Alexa Won't Wake Up When She Hears Her Name in Amazon's Super Bowl Ad</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Identifying Sounds in Audio Streams</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Amazon at ICASSP</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> /blogs/alexa/post/642879ef-aa5d-40bc-bca8-bc4e7da1ba05/use-dynamic-entities-to-create-personalized-voice-experiences1 動的エンティティを使用してパーソナライズされた音声エクスペリエンスを作る Chisato Hiroki 2019-04-18T07:21:49+00:00 2019-04-18T07:21:49+00:00 <p>私は毎朝出勤するときに、同じコーヒーショップで緑茶ラテを買います。バリスタは過去の経験から私の欲しいものがわかっているので、入店するとすぐに注文を作り始めてくれます。注文を変えて意地悪してみようかとふと思ったりしますが、せっかく作ってくれたおいしい抹茶ラテを台無しにしてほしくはありません。</p> <p>エクスペリエンスがシンプルにパーソナライズされているので、私はこの店にせっせと通い続けています。同じように、優れたAlexaスキルではパーソナライズされたユーザーエクスペリエンスを提供してくれます。ユーザーは繰り返しそのスキルを利用したいという気持ちになります。</p> <p>私は毎朝出勤するときに、同じコーヒーショップで緑茶ラテを買います。バリスタは過去の経験から私の欲しいものがわかっているので、入店するとすぐに注文を作り始めてくれます。注文を変えて意地悪してみようかとふと思ったりしますが、せっかく作ってくれたおいしい抹茶ラテを台無しにしてほしくはありません。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>エクスペリエンスがシンプルにパーソナライズされているので、私はこの店にせっせと通い続けています。同じように、優れたAlexaスキルはパーソナライズされたユーザーエクスペリエンスを提供してくれます。ユーザーは繰り返しそのスキルを利用したいという気持ちになります。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>新しい<a href="">動的エンティティ</a>機能を活用すると、対話モデルを編集しビルドし直して再認定をする必要はありません。実行時に対話モデルを調整してAlexaスキルのエクスペリエンスをパーソナライズすることができます。プログラムコードや、データベース、RESTful API呼び出しから取得したデータ構造を、既存のスロット値に実行時に適用することで、スキルが、ユーザーやコンテキスト(文脈)、会話の流れを処理することができます。スロット値や同義語をコンテキストに合わせることで、先ほどのコーヒーショップのように、ユーザーの好みと過去の対話に基づいてエクスペリエンスをパーソナライズすることができます。現在は<a href="">永続アトリビュート</a>を利用することでスキルセッション間のイベントをコーディングしてスキルに記憶させることができます。しかし、それには対話モデルの更新と、それに付随する認定の更新などの作業が必要です。動的エンティティの実装では、モデルの再ビルドや再認定は必要ありません。<a href="">AWS Lambda</a>コードでディレクティブが更新されるとすぐに、スキルのスロットのカスタマイズが開始されます。動的エンティティの追加は簡単です。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>動的エンティティのしくみ</h2> <p>コーヒーショップの例をもう一度見てみましょう。スキルでドリンクを注文するには、スロットタイプが<strong>drinkType</strong>であるドリンクスロットが必要です。最初に、2つの値、コーヒーと紅茶でこのドリンクスロットを定義しました。次に、緑茶とウーロン茶を追加するよう商品を拡張しました。動的エンティティでは、モデルを手動で更新しても、認定の再申請は必要なく、実行中にこうしたことを行うことができます。</p> <p>スキルでは、<strong>Dynamic.UpdateDynamicEntities</strong>ディレクティブを返す必要があります。<strong>updateBehavior</strong>値をCLEARまたはREPLACEのいずれかに設定し、typesフィールドを使用して動的エンティティを設定することができます。Alexaサービスは、ディレクティブを返すときに<strong>drinkType</strong>の新しいスロット値と同義語を登録します。これはサイレントプロセスで、ユーザーがスキルと対話する以外に何かをする必要はありません。</p> <p>新しいスロット値と同義語が登録されると、動的エンティティに関連付けられたスロットを含むスキルへのリクエストには、<strong>drinkType</strong>の静的に定義された値と動的に定義された値の両方に基づいた解決済みの値が含まれるようになります。ユーザーの発した言葉が静的スロット値と動的スロット値のどちらに一致したのかは、スキルコードから確認することができます。ユーザーがスキルとの対話を終了すると、動的エンティティの有効期限が切れるため、次回にスキルが起動したときに動的エンティティを再登録する必要があります。</p> <p>それでは、応答とリクエストから見ていきましょう。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>応答: 動的エンティティの登録</h2> <p><strong>drinkType</strong>の動的エンティティを登録すると、応答でこのディレクティブが返ります。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">... 'directives': [ { 'type': 'Dialog.UpdateDynamicEntities', 'updateBehavior': 'REPLACE', 'types': [...] } ] ... </code></pre> <p>typeと<strong>updateBehavior</strong>はとてもわかりやすいものです。一方、typesフィールドはスロットタイプを表す複合オブジェクトの配列です。スキルには複数のスロットタイプを持たせることができます。複数のスロットタイプ値と同義語を設定できるため、typesは配列になっています。types配列内のスロットタイプオブジェクトを見てみましょう。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">{ 'name': '&lt;slotType&gt;', 'values': [ { ... }, ... ] } </code></pre> <p>nameとvaluesという2つのフィールドがあります。nameフィールドは、更新したいスロットタイプの名前です。スロットタイプには複数の値を持たせることができるため、values配列で、スロット値と同義語を表す複合オブジェクトのリストを提供できます。values配列内のスロット値オブジェクトを詳しく見ていきましょう。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">{ 'id': '&lt;slotValueId&gt;', 'name': {...} } </code></pre> <p>各スロット値オブジェクトにはnameが1つ含まれます。これはオブジェクトであり、任意のIDを定義できます。IDは任意ですが、スロット値を使ってデータベースやRESTfulウェブサービス(<a href="">Amazon DynamoDB</a>など)の内容を検索する予定であれば、IDを1つ定義するとよいでしょう。そうすると、コードにスロット値とデータベースID値を照合するディクショナリーを作成する必要がなくなります。</p> <p>最後に、nameフィールドは複合オブジェクトであり、値、同義語の配列が含まれます。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">{ 'value': '&lt;slotValue&gt;', 'synonyms': [ '&lt;同義語A&gt;', '&lt;同義語B&gt;', ... ] } 以上のことを総合し、drinkTypeに緑茶とウーロン茶を追加する場合のディレクティブは次のようになります。 ... 'directives': [ { 'type': 'Dialog.UpdateDynamicEntities', 'updateBehavior': 'REPLACE', 'types': [ { 'name': 'drinkType', 'values': [ { 'id': 'grnTea', 'name': { 'value': '緑茶', 'synonyms': [ '抹茶', ] } }, { 'id': 'oolTea', 'name': { 'value': 'ウーロン茶', 'synonyms': [ '中国茶', '青茶', ] } } ] } ] } ] ... </code></pre> <h2>リクエスト:動的に定義されたスロット値の受け取り</h2> <p>動的エンティティが登録されると、スキルコードに送信されたリクエストには、静的に定義された解決と動的に定義された解決の両方が<strong>resolutionsPerAuthority</strong>という名前の配列に含まれます。注:同義語とスロット値のマッピングに<a href="">エンティティ解決</a>を使用したことがあれば、<strong>resolutionsPerAuthority</strong>配列には見覚えがあるでしょう。以前は、この配列の項目は1つだけでした。そのため、<strong>resolutionsPerAuthority[0]</strong>とハードコーディングしていました。しかし、静的エンティティと動的エンティティはこの配列に複数の項目があるため、ハードコーディングは適していません。</p> <p>注意していただきたいのは、 配列の順序はないということです。動的エンティティが先に来ることもあれば、静的エンティティが先のこともあります。<strong>resolutionsPerAuthority[0]</strong>配列では順序に頼ることができないため、配列内の各オブジェクトのエンティティタイプをチェックする必要があります。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">静的:;skill_id&gt;.drinkType 動的:;skill_id&gt;.drinkType </code></pre> <p>動的の方には「dynamic」という単語が含まれている点を除き、両者はまったく一緒だということにお気付きになったでしょうか。 コードでは、<strong>resolutionsPerAuthority</strong>内のオブジェクトが動的かどうかを判断するためには、このオブジェクトに「<strong>.er-authority.echo-sdk.dynamic</strong>」が含まれているかどうかをチェックするとよいでしょう。 「dynamic」が含まれているかチェックするだけではなぜいけないのでしょうか。 スロットタイプに<strong>dynamicType</strong>という名前を付けたケースを考えてみましょう。このケースでは、静的情報ソースと動的情報ソースの両方の文字列の末尾に<strong>dynamicType</strong>が含まれます。「dynamic」が含まれているかどうかのチェックだけでは、静的、動的ともにtrueが返ってきてしまい、欲しい結果が得られません。</p> <p>ユーザーが抹茶を注文した場合を考えてみましょう。これは緑茶の同義語です。ちょうど<strong>drinkType</strong>を動的に更新したばかりです。 リクエストを掘り下げ、<strong>OrderIntent</strong>を見てみましょう。<strong>resolutionsPerAuthority</strong>には2つの情報ソースが含まれます。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">... { &quot;intent&quot;: { &quot;name&quot;: &quot;OrderIntent&quot;, &quot;confirmationStatus&quot;: &quot;NONE&quot;, &quot;slots&quot;: { &quot;drink&quot;: { &quot;name&quot;: &quot;drink&quot;, &quot;value&quot;: &quot;抹茶&quot;, &quot;resolutions&quot;: { &quot;resolutionsPerAuthority&quot;: [ { &quot;authority&quot;: &quot;;skill_id&gt;.drinkType&quot;, &quot;status&quot;: { &quot;code&quot;: &quot;ER_SUCCESS_NO_MATCH&quot; } }, { &quot;authority&quot;: &quot;;skill_id&gt;.drinkType&quot;, &quot;status&quot;: { &quot;code&quot;: &quot;ER_SUCCESS_MATCH&quot; }, &quot;values&quot;: [ { &quot;value&quot;: { &quot;name&quot;: &quot;緑茶&quot;, &quot;id&quot;: &quot;grnTea&quot; } } ] } ] }, &quot;confirmationStatus&quot;: &quot;NONE&quot;, &quot;source&quot;: &quot;USER&quot; } } } } ... </code></pre> <p>最上位(<strong>intent.slots.drink</strong>)では、valueは「抹茶」です。これは、スキルがユーザーの注文をキャプチャしたことを意味します。また、<strong>resolutionsPerAuthority</strong>が2つあることも確認できます。1つは静的で、もう1つは動的です。静的に定義された<strong>drinkType</strong>には緑茶という値もその同義語の抹茶も含まれていません。そのため、ステータスコードは<strong>ER_SUCCES_NO_MATCH</strong>です。動的の方は<strong>ER_SUCCESS_MATCH</strong>であり、緑茶という値とIDである<strong>grnTea</strong>が含まれています。ドリンクメニューを動的に更新することができたようです。</p> <p>では、期間限定の緑茶フラッペのドリンクプロモーションをスキルで提供しましょう。ウェブサービスを通してスキルが呼び出すデータベースにドリンクのエントリを追加できました。スキルが開いたときに、<strong>drinkType</strong>エンティティとして動的に登録された緑茶フラッペを使って販売メニューを更新しました。プロモーション期間が終わると、このエントリをデータベースから削除できます。リピーターが緑茶フラッペを注文しようとしても、静的エンティティにも動的エンティティにも存在しないため、そのアイテムはもう提供されていないことがわかります。</p> <p>動的エンティティの使い方を把握しましたね。では制限事項について見ていきましょう。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>制限事項</h2> <p>説明してきたように、動的エンティティは非常に強力ですが、認識しておくべき制限事項がいくつかあります。</p> <h3>&nbsp;</h3> <h3>1.エンティティの上限は100件</h3> <p>これには、各スロットタイプの値と同義語の組み合わせも含まれます。合計が100件を超えると、403エラーが返り、動的エンティティは登録されなくなりますが、静的エンティティは引き続き機能します。</p> <h3>&nbsp;</h3> <h3>2.追加ではない</h3> <p>動的エンティティは任意の応答から何度でも繰り返し更新できます。この時、以前に登録した動的エンティティは上書きされます。複数の応答を使って200件の動的エンティティを追加することはできませんが、スキルのコンテキストに基づいて100件のエンティティをロードしてユーザーの応答を処理し、別のコンテキストが入力されたら、新たな100件と入れ換えることができます。</p> <h3>&nbsp;</h3> <h3>3.ワンショットのサポートはなし</h3> <p>スキルがディレクティブを返すためには、まずリクエストを受け取る必要があります。つまり、動的エンティティはスキルが開かれるまで登録されません。ユーザーが「アレクサ、コーヒーショップを開いて」と言ってスキルを開くのが理想的です。すると、<strong>LaunchRequest</strong>がトリガーされるため、動的エンティティを登録できます。ユーザーが「アレクサ、コーヒーショップで緑茶が欲しい」と言ったとすると、動的エンティティが登録できるようになる前に<strong>OrderIntent</strong>がトリガーされます。この場合、ドリンクスロットは緑茶として解決されますが、スキルで使用できるのは静的エンティティのみです。ユーザーがプロモーションメニューからアイテムを注文した場合、その商品がまだ販売中かどうかを動的エンティティを使ってチェックすることができないため、手動でチェックする必要があります。</p> <p>動的エンティティで対話をパーソナライズし、スロットタイプをコンテキストに合わせて精度を向上させると、スキルがいっそう魅力的になります。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>パーソナライズ</h2> <p>私がいつものコーヒーショップに入ったとき、バリスタも私も、私が飲み物が欲しいこと、その飲み物は緑茶ラテであることを知っています。バリスタは他の顧客についても同じように推測ができます。そのため注文のプロセスがパーソナライズされて効率的になり、さらにユーザーを引き付けられます。</p> <p>動的エンティティでは、各ユーザーの過去の注文履歴に基づいてスロット値を動的にマッピングすることで、これと同じことができます。動的エンティティを使用すると、スロット値をいつもの注文にマッピングできます。私の場合は緑茶ラテです。私はスキルと対話するときに、「いつもの」で注文することができます。ドリンクスロットに「いつもの」を入れて、緑茶ラテに解決することができます。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>コンテキストに合わせる</h2> <p>スキルをコンテキストに合わせると、より精度が向上するため、いっそう魅力的になります。現在のスキルのコンテキストに合わせて動的エンティティを設定すると、スロットに細かくコンテキストを認識させることができます。たとえば、音声でバスの経路を検索できるスキルがあるとします。道路とバス停の名前は表記が難しくて読めず、正式な読み方で発話されないことがあります。<u><a href="">デバイスアドレスAPI</a></u>を使用すると、スキルからユーザーが所有するEchoデバイスの郵便番号を取得し、それを使用して特定の半径内のすべてのバス停と交差点を検索し、動的エンティティを使用してその道路の名前をスロットタイプに設定することができます。動的エンティティのセットははるかに小さいものの、ユーザーがスキルと対話している場所というコンテキストと関連性が高くなり、スキルが道路名を解釈するときの精度が向上します。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>まとめ</h2> <p>初期のテスターの方にお試しいただいたところ、動的エンティティはユーザーを引き付けるために役立つ強力なツールだということがわかりました。短時間で、パーソナライズされた質の高いエクスペリエンスを提供できます。英国のネットスーパー<u><a href="">Ocado</a></u>の<u><a href="">James Dimmock</a></u>氏は「当社は100種類以上の牛乳を販売しており、多くのお客様がブランドや種類に強いこだわりを持っていらっしゃいます。<u><a href="">Ocadoのスキル</a></u>では、動的エンティティを使用することで、お客様がお気に入りの商品をこれまで以上にすばやく簡単にカートに入れられるようになります。」と話しています。</p> <p>また、音声開発者は動的エンティティを使ってビジネスモデルを改善しています。米国の音声開発会社<u><a href=""></a></u>の創業者である<u><a href="">Joel Wilson</a></u>氏は、実行時にスキルを更新することで時間の短縮になり、業務をスピードアップできることを発見しました。Wilson氏は「これで、コンテンツが変わるたびに言語モデルを変更してスキルを再申請する必要がなくなるでしょう」と話してくれました。</p> <p>この記事が、スキルに動的エンティティを組み込む際のヒントになれば幸いです。うまく行ったら、ぜひ教えてください。 私のTwitterアカウントは<u><a href="">SleepyDeveloper</a></u>ですので、連絡をお待ちしています。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>関連リソース</h2> <ul> <li><a href="">動的エンティティに関する技術資料</a></li> <li><a href="">カスタマイズした対話に動的エンティティを使用する</a></li> <li><a href="">永続アトリビュートに関するNodeJS SDKドキュメント</a></li> <li><a href="">Announcing Alexa Entity Resolution(英語)</a></li> <li><a href="">Alexa Skill Teardown: Understanding Entity Resolution with the Pet Match Skill(英語)</a></li> <li><a href="">エンティティ解決に関する技術資料</a></li> <li><a href="">Alexa Skill Recipe: Using the Device Address API to Enhance Your Voice Experience(英語)</a></li> <li><a href="">Amazon DynamoDB とは</a></li> </ul> /blogs/alexa/post/99fb071e-9aaf-481b-b9af-0186c0f712a5/how-to-monitor-custom-alexa-skills-using-amazon-cloudwatch-alarms How to Monitor Custom Alexa Skills Using Amazon CloudWatch Alarms Jennifer King 2019-04-17T14:00:00+00:00 2019-04-17T14:00:00+00:00 <p style="text-align:justify">If you have a custom Alexa skill that uses AWS Lambda as the back end, follow the steps below to create alerts using Amazon CloudWatch alarms to get notified when errors occur.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">As a skill developer, you want to make sure that your skill is always working as expected and providing a consistent experience to your customers. One way to do this is with continuous monitoring so that you’re alerted about unexpected errors that may arise with your skill. Monitoring enables you to identify the root-cause of any errors and address those issues quickly. If you do not have monitoring in place, skill issues and errors may go unnoticed for an extended period of time, which could lead to a poor skill experience.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">If you have a custom skill that uses <a href="" target="_blank">AWS Lambda</a> as the back end, follow the steps below to create alerts using Amazon CloudWatch alarms to get notified when there is a spike in errors for your skill.</p> <h2 style="text-align:justify">Logging Error Information</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">In order to monitor skills for errors, you first need to log the appropriate errors. In case of errors with a skill request, the skill receives a <a href="">SessionEndedRequest</a> that contains the error message and error type. You can log this error information to identify the cause of errors with their skill. For complete instructions on how to log and debug this error information, refer to <a href="">this blog post</a>. For this example, every time I get a SessionEndedRequest due to a skill error, I will log it with the prefix “Error Message.”</p> <h2 style="text-align:justify">Adding a Metric Filter in CloudWatch</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">Once you have the error information being logged, the next step is setting a metric filter that you can use to track your errors from CloudWatch. First, you will go to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Next, in the navigation panel on the left, select <strong>Logs</strong>. Then, identify the log group for your skill and click on <strong>Create Metric Filter.</strong></p> <p style="text-align:justify"><strong><img alt="" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align:justify">This will open the <strong>Define Logs Metric Filter</strong> screen. In the filter pattern, enter “Error Message” (or the prefix from your logs on which you want to be alerted on). You will also have an option of testing whether your pattern works.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="" src="" style="display:block; height:512px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:600px" /></p> <p style="text-align:justify">Next, click on assign metric. This will open the <strong>Create Metric Filter and Assign a Metric</strong> screen. Enter the Filter Name, Metric Namespace, and Metric Name and then click Create Filter.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="" src="" style="display:block; height:375px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:700px" /></p> <p style="text-align:justify"><strong>Note</strong>: You can also setup your metrics based on individual error types so that you can have separate alarms; for example, for error types INVALID_RESPONSE and INTERNAL_SERVICE_ERROR. You can control this by logging the particular error type in your logs and building your metrics based on each pattern. You can find a list of error types for a custom skill <a href="">here</a>.</p> <h2 style="text-align:justify">Creating the Alarm</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">Once you have your Metric Filter created, you are ready to create alarms. You want to be notified in case you see a rise in errors (identified by your metric filter). Click on Create Alarm for your metric filter.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" />On the <strong>create new alarm</strong> screen, provide a name and description for your alarm. Also, provide the threshold for the number of errors for which you want to be alerted on. For this example, I will set it as greater than or equal to 3. Next, in the Action section, you can select the method of notification when this alarm is triggered. For my example, I have created an <a href="" target="_blank">AWS SNS topic</a> and subscribed my email to it. So, when this alarm is triggered, it will send me an email on the provided email address.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p style="text-align:justify">Now, whenever customers invoke my skill and there is a spike in errors (three or more requests with errors in this example) on the skill’s back end (and customers hear “Sorry I’m having trouble accessing your skill right now”), I will receive an email notification informing me about the error with the skill. See the example email below:</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p>I can then debug and identify the root cause of the issue and resolve it before a lot of customers are impacted by this error.</p> <h2>Related Content</h2> <p>For more information on debugging and troubleshooting custom skills, check out these resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">How to Debug Errors for Custom Alexa Skills</a></li> <li><a href="">3 Tips to Troubleshoot Your Custom Alexa Skill's Back End</a></li> <li><a href="">Test and Debug a Custom Skill</a></li> <li><a href="">How to Handle Error Messages about Your Remote Endpoint</a></li> <li><a href="">Why console.log() Is Your Friend</a></li> </ul> /blogs/alexa/post/38c078fe-e0c8-49a5-a80e-f5aefb94e2a5/become-a-certified-alexa-skill-builder-with-the-new-aws-specialty-certification Become a Certified Alexa Skill Builder with the New AWS Specialty Certification Jennifer King 2019-04-16T18:33:52+00:00 2019-04-16T18:33:52+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>We’re excited to announce the general availability of the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty certification, the industry's first and only certification that validates your ability to build, test, and publish Amazon Alexa skills.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>If you’re looking to gain recognition and differentiate your professional experience, certification is a great way to showcase proficiency and knowledge in any field, including voice. We’re excited to announce the general availability of the <a href="" target="_blank">AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty certification</a>, the industry's first and only certification that validates your ability to build, test, and publish Amazon Alexa skills. The certification exam is available now at testing centers around the world.</p> <p>The certification is designed to help voice developers build credibility by validating their Alexa and cloud expertise with an industry-recognized credential. This, in turn, will help open up more opportunities to build engaging voice experiences that have the potential to reach customers using more than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices.</p> <p>“The demand from organizations for skilled professionals who can build skills for emerging voice-enabled workloads is increasing,” says Kevin Kelly, director, AWS Certification and Education Programs. “This new certification validates those skills with the only credential in the industry focused on Alexa skill building.”</p> <p>Ryan Hollander, chief skill builder at Voiced, Inc., agrees. He says an AWS certification gives certified skill builders a leg up with voice and “a foothold in the future.”</p> <p>“With this industry-recognized credential, developers can find new opportunities and projects that allow them to showcase their abilities and continue to innovate,” says Hollander.</p> <p>To help showcase their industry recognition, certified skill builders will receive the AWS Certification digital badge. Once you successfully pass the AWS Certification exam, you’ll be able to download your digital badge and use it to gain exclusive access to AWS Certified Lounges at AWS events, share on social media outlets, and include in email signature to showcase your achievements.</p> <h2>How to Prepare for the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty Certification Exam</h2> <p>We recommend that developers taking the exam have at least six months of hands-on experience designing and building Alexa skills, proficiency with a programming language, and published at least one Alexa skill in order to validate the exam areas above.</p> <p>The exam validates developers’ ability to:</p> <ul> <li>Explain the value of voice</li> <li>Design the user experience</li> <li>Design the architecture to build the skill</li> <li>Follow AWS and Alexa security best practices for the skill</li> <li>Develop, test, validate, and troubleshoot the skill</li> <li>Manage the skill publishing process and work with the Alexa Developer Console</li> <li>Manage skill operations and lifecycles</li> </ul> <p>To help you prepare, we’ve also put together an <a href="" target="_blank">exam guide</a>, which includes links to tutorials, technical documentation, and more. In addition to the resources included in the guide, AWS Training and Certification offers free, self-paced <a href="" target="_blank">digital training courses</a>.</p> <h2>Register for the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty Certification Exam</h2> <p>To register for the exam, create an AWS Training account at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and click “Certification” in the top navigation. Next, click the AWS Certification Account button, followed by “Schedule New Exam.” Find the exam you wish to take and click either the “Schedule at PSI” or “Schedule at Pearson VUE” button. You will then be redirected to the test delivery provider’s scheduling page, where you will complete your exam registration.</p> <h2>Validate Your Experience and Advance Your Career</h2> <p>Your ability to build Alexa skills opens up many opportunities for new business ideas, a new career in voice, and new customer experiences. With the <a href="" target="_blank">AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty certification</a>, you can accelerate your skill-building journey.</p> <p>We can’t wait to see what you build.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/fa20b61e-daa2-4ffa-9761-9571f619baf7/jp-enablement-and-account-linking-metrics スキルの使用状況のレポートを活用しましょう Nahoko Hirabayashi 2019-04-16T04:39:44+00:00 2019-04-16T04:39:44+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Alexaのスキルを開発する上で、スキルの使用状況を知ることは重要です。今回はお問い合わせでもよくご質問をいただく「ユニークカスタマー」と「スキルの有効化」を中心にご紹介いたします。</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Alexaのスキルを開発する上で、スキルの使用状況を知ることは重要です。今回はお問い合わせでもよくご質問をいただく「ユニークカスタマー」と「スキルの有効化」を中心にご紹介いたします。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>スキルの使用状況を確認しましょう</strong></p> <p>スキルの使用状況のレポートは、Alexa開発者コンソール&gt;スキル一覧の「<strong>レポート</strong>」欄に移動するとアクセスすることができます。</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>概要セクションでは、利用できるレポートの概要が表示されます。カスタマー 数、セッション数や発話数を知ることができます。上部のボタンで期間を変更でき、任意の期間を選択する場合は、<strong>「カスタム」</strong>タブで期間を指定しましょう。</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>次に、「ユニークカスタマー」と「スキルの有効化」を見てみましょう。</p> <ul> <li><strong>ユニークカスタマー: </strong>スキルを使用したユニークユーザーの合計</li> <li><strong>スキルの有効化:&nbsp;</strong>公開中のスキルのみに適用され、スキルを有効にしたユニークユーザー数、またアカウントリンクの機能があるスキルの場合は、アカウントリンクを完了したユニークユーザーの合計を含む</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>スキルを使用するためには、まずユーザーはスキルを有効にする必要があります。ユーザーはスキルを有効にした後、スキルを使用するので、ユニークカスタマーに表示される指標の数とスキルの有効化の数は異なります。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>今回ご紹介したレポート機能は、技術資料の「<a href="">スキルの使用状況のレポート</a>」でも詳細をご確認いただけます。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /blogs/alexa/post/ac20626e-3748-4d70-bd3d-58f60d00ac6a/here-are-the-19-alexa-skills-nominated-for-webby-awards-and-you-can-help-pick-the-winners Here Are the Alexa Skills Nominated for the Webby Awards—And You Can Help Pick the Winners Jennifer King 2019-04-13T13:00:00+00:00 2019-04-16T14:40:09+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>We’re excited the 23rd Annual Webby Awards now includes a suite of ten new categories, just for voice. Meet the Alexa skills nominated and vote.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><img alt="" src="" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">It’s been 12 years since the <a href="" target="_blank">Webby Awards</a>, which honors excellence on the internet, recognized a profound shift from desktop to mobile devices as a means of accessing the web, adding Mobile Sites &amp; Apps as a new category type. This year, it acknowledges another prominent technology on the rise: Voice. We’re excited the <a href="" target="_blank">23rd Annual Webby Awards</a> now includes a <a href="" target="_blank">suite of ten new categories</a>, just for voice.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">With over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices in homes and businesses around the world, the inclusion of voice in the Webbys is an exciting and energizing milestone. It illustrates the increasing popularity of voice and further underscores the enormous opportunities available to developers to create engaging voice-first experiences in everything from games and entertainment to productivity and business and beyond.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Of course, we’re always excited to <a href="">spotlight the Alexa developers</a> who are using voice to innovate and build new experiences for customers. Today, we want to acknowledge the Alexa skills and congratulate their developers who’ve earned nominations for a Webby Award in one or more of the new voice categories.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">We encourage you to explore all of the nominated skills, then head over to the <a href="" target="_blank">Webby Awards People’s Voice</a> before April 18 to cast your vote for the very best of the internet. The winners will be announced on April 23.</p> <h2 style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">And the Categories Are…</h2> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">The Webbys added a number of <a href="" target="_blank">General Voice categories</a> for voice use cases and voice-enabled devices. Each category provides different types of information, interactions, or services, all of which use voice as a primary engagement point:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Business &amp; Finance</strong> – Provide information or services for banking, stock trading, news, mortgages, credit cards, insurance, and more.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Education &amp; Reference</strong> - Designed to encourage education and learning.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Food &amp; Drink</strong> – Includes recipes, shopping lists, delivery, and more for just about any food and beverage you can think of.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Games &amp; Entertainment</strong> – Needs no explanation and could be just about any type of voice-first game.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Health, Fitness &amp; Lifestyle</strong> – Promote health, fitness, and wellness of body, mind or both, such as fitness tracking, meditation, and a variety of self-help.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>News</strong> – Deliver news and information services of all types.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Productivity</strong> – Boost personal or workplace productivity, including appointment schedulers and list makers to workflows, exercise trackers, and more.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">In addition, skills and voice-enabled devices can be nominated and win in the following <a href="" target="_blank">Voice Features categories</a>:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Best User Experience</strong> – Exceptional usability and functionality.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Best Writing</strong> – Excellent writing for voice experiences.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in"><strong>Technical Achievement</strong> – Incorporating new, innovative technology to set a new or higher industry standard for user experience.</p> <h2 style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Meet the Alexa Skill Developers Nominated for a Webby</h2> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Out of hundreds of entries in these new Voice categories, we’re happy to share the Alexa skills that received nominations for best-in-category by the Webby Academy.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">The Webby Academy selected five nominees in each category they felt demonstrated outstanding achievement. All nominees and honorary mentions receive a framed certificate and website badge. But the winners will receive a coveted Webby Statuette and plenty of well-deserved prestige and recognition from their peers and the industry.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Without further ado and in alphabetical order, here are the Alexa skills nominated for these prestigious awards:</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Alexa Lifeline</a></strong> by VML, Sydney, Australia</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Productivity, Best User Experience</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Alexa Lifeline allows women in abusive relationships to secretly text a friend for help without the abuser knowing or even suspecting the communication.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">ALIEN: Offworld Colony Simulator</a></strong> by 20th Century Fox, Vice</p> <p style="margin-left:40px; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Technical Achievement</p> <p style="margin-left:40px; margin-right:0in">The Offworld Colony Simulator is a turn-based exploration game that challenges you to escape from the sectors of a locked down Weyland-Yutani Space Colony.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Al Jazeera</a></strong> by Al Jazeera, Your World / Spoken Layer</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: News</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">For stories that don’t pop up in your typical news feed, Al Jazeera offers a fresh perspective on Your World.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href=";-Odyssey-Spartan/dp/B07HFL5BLS" target="_blank">Assassin’s Creed&reg; Odyssey Spartan</a></strong> by Ubisoft</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Games &amp; Entertainment</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">The official skill of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Alexios is designed to be the ultimate tool for life at home and in the game world.</p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">BBC Good Food</a></strong> by Immediate Media Co.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Food &amp; Drink, Best User Experience</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Simple step-by-step recipes for 11,000 triple-tested recipes searchable by ingredients, dishes, diet types, time required, difficulty, cuisine, and more.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">BBC Kids</a></strong> by BBC Media Applications Technologies Limited</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Best User Experience</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Kids can listen to stories read by special guests, play games, and sing along to some of their favorite songs, with characters from the popular CBeebies show.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">CNBC</a></strong> by NBCUniversal Media, LLC</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Business &amp; Finance</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Get the latest business news, real-time financial information, and market quotes, so you can track investments throughout the day.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Bar</a></strong> by Diageo</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Food &amp; Drink</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">The Bar is your own personal bartender. Just say “Alexa, open The Bar” to get yourself mixing, learning, and experimenting with friends in your kitchen.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Harvard Business Review: Management Tip</a></strong> by Harvard Business Review</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Business &amp; Finance</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Quick, practical management advice to help you do your job better, delivered weekdays via a flash briefing. This is the audio version of Harvard Business Review’s email newsletter.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Headspace: Guided Meditation for Everybody</a></strong> by Headspace</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Health, Fitness &amp; Lifestyle</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Headspace is meditation and mindfulness made simple. Get a new guided meditation every day, plus a sleep exercise to help you wind down.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Jeopardy!</a></strong> by Sony Pictures Television</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Games &amp; Entertainment</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Did you know that every Jeopardy! category has an “extra” 6th clue? With a single command, test your knowledge with new clues every weekday and more.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Jurassic World Revealed</a></strong> by Universal Studios Interactive</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Best Writing</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Visit Isla Nublar with podcaster Janet Best to report on the dinosaurs’ fate in this premium interactive audio adventure from Universal and Earplay.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Make Me Smart</a></strong> by Marketplace</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Business &amp; Finance, Education &amp; Reference</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Marketplace hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood tell you what you need to know about the economy, pop culture, tech, and current events in this daily skill.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Men’s Health Minute</a></strong> by Hearst / SpokenLayer</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Health, Fitness &amp; Lifestyle</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Men's Health Minute provides the latest in fitness, nutrition, health, sex, style, grooming, tech, weight loss, and more.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Mr. Robot: Daily Five/Nine</a></strong> by NBCUniversal Media, LLC</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Games &amp; Entertainment, Best Writing</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">A mind-bending, interactive story game inspired by the appearance of Amazon Echo in USA Network’s Golden Globe&reg; and Emmy&reg;-winning series MR. ROBOT.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Sleep Sounds</a></strong> by Invoked Apps LLC</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Health, Fitness &amp; Lifestyle</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Sleep Sounds plays calming sound loops to help you fall asleep faster, sleep better, relax, meditate, or drown out distracting noises.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Song Quiz</a></strong> by Volley, Inc.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Games &amp; Entertainment</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Play solo or against friends, family or music fans across the country to guess the correct title and artist for thousands of songs by artists from the past 60 years!</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href=";qid=1555080925&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-fkmrnull" target="_blank">Suggest a Beer</a></strong> by Dabble Lab</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Food &amp; Drink</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Alexa can suggest a beer from more that 5,000 American brewed craft and specialty beers, or even make a local suggestion by state.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">True or False?</a></strong> by ltd</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Education &amp; Reference</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">This is a fun game to test your trivia knowledge about the world by answering either &quot;true&quot; or &quot;false.&quot; The rules are simple, but the questions aren’t.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Westworld: The Maze</a></strong> by HBO</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Nominated for: Best User Experience</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; margin-right:0in">Move through Westworld on 60 possible paths to consciousness, with show sound effects and storylines and over 2 hours of unique gameplay.</p> <h2 style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Try the Skills and Vote in the Webby People’s Choice</h2> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Voting is now open for the 23rd<sup> </sup>Annual Webby Awards! And <em>you</em> can help determine the final winners. Until April 18, you can vote for the skills nominated in each voice category in the <a href="" target="_blank">Webby Awards People’s Choice</a>. Check out all these Alexa skills to find out why the Webby Academy rated them as some of the best voice experiences. <a href="" target="_blank">Then cast your vote!</a></p> /blogs/alexa/post/26aa26b3-f449-495e-b78f-d1e6e55d64fe/announcing-the-winners-of-the-alexa-skills-challenge-multimodal Announcing the Winners of the Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal June Lee 2019-04-12T18:11:25+00:00 2019-04-12T22:34:37+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p>After months of hard work from Alexa developers around the world, <a href="">the Alexa Skill Challenge: Multimodal</a> has concluded. We are excited to annouce the grand prize winner and the bonus prize winners!</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p>After months of hard work from Alexa developers around the world, <a href="">the Alexa Skill Challenge: Multimodal</a> has concluded. The challenge invited developers to build Alexa <a href="">multimodal skills</a> using the <a href="">Alexa Presentation Language (APL)</a> that provide rich and engaging customer experience across devices. Last week, we held our final judging event to determine the grand prize winner from the <a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">10 finalists selected</a>, as well as the bonus prize winners.</p> <h2>What Developers Said About APL and the Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal</h2> <p>Thank you to everyone who participated and worked hard to submit an entry to this challenge. We appreciate your passion and hard work. As part of the process, we loved hearing about your APL skill-building experience and feedback. Here’s what developers had to say about APL and the challenge.</p> <p><strong>Rich and Engaging Customer Experience</strong>: “APL will continue to bring us more rich and interactive features that customers love and have come to expect. Pairing voice, visuals, and touch can only really be done at scale and with an audience by developing for Alexa,”<em> </em>says Ben Ursu, the developer of <a href=";qid=1554398125&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">Fork On the Road</a>.</p> <p><strong>Creative Freedom:</strong> “APL excites me because it provides more context that you can add. APL gives developers lots of freedom to create visuals for voice games and this can make voice games more approachable for users that are new to the concept,” says Cameron Sheedy, the developer of <a href=";qid=1554398033&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">Crazy Conversation</a>.</p> <p><strong>Collaborative Alexa Developer Community</strong>: “I really like APL as it’s easy to understand and work with. I would really like to give a shout out to the Alexa developer community for always being there to help each other, including me many times when I needed it!” says Stuart Pocklington, the developer of <a href=";qid=1555024845&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">Loop It.</a></p> <h2>Congratulations to All the Winners!</h2> <p><strong>Grand Prize Winner ($20,000) – Loop It </strong>(<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1555024845&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can create amazing sounding loops by choosing your favorite drum, bass, and melody loops.</p> <p>“Loop It! takes advantage of the amazing Alexa Presentation Language to show visuals on multimodal devices and lets customers interact with the skill either by voice or touch. I focused heavily on a voice first experience, and APL allowed me to add the icing onto the cake. Loop It! is a one-of-a-kind skill but I believe there’s huge untapped potential in music creation on Alexa,” says Stuart Pocklington, the developer of <a href=";qid=1555024845&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">Loop It</a>.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - Best Multimodal Living Room experience </strong><strong>($3,000 USD) -</strong><strong>Crazy Conversations</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1554398033&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You will be given a clue that sounds like nonsense and you need to figure out what it is trying to say.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - Best Multimodal Kitchen experience </strong><strong>($3,000 USD) - </strong><strong>Fork On the Road</strong> &nbsp;(<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1554398125&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can add up to four things for the fork to choose from, and the fork will help you make a decision.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>Best Multimodal Morning experience ($3,000 USD) -</strong><strong> Poet Challenge</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1554398081&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can learn about British poetry by playing fun games.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - Best Multimodal Bedtime experience </strong><strong>($3,000 USD) -</strong><strong>Story Stream: Binge-worthy Bedtime Stories</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1554398101&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can listen to immersive stories before going to bed.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>Best Multimodal Kids Skill experience ($3,000 USD) - </strong><strong>Kids Karaoke </strong>(<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1554398060&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can play familiar tunes from your childhood and play them on a karaoke mode to sing along with family and friends.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>Best Multimodal Experience Integrating In-Skill Purchases ($3,000 USD) - </strong><strong>Guess my name!</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1555025245&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): It’s a guessing game and you are given a series of clues in a certain category.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>Germany Store ($3,000) - </strong><strong>Movie Quiz</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";keywords=Movie+Quiz+skill&amp;qid=1555025318&amp;s=gateway&amp;sr=8-1&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You will be given emojis that describe a movie and guess what movie it is.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>France Store ($3,000) - </strong><strong>My Spanish Friend</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1554398227&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr">try the skill</a>): You can learn Spanish by answering the requests of a fictitious Spanish prince. He does not speak English, but the skill gives you the contextual information you need.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>India Store ($3,000) - </strong><strong>Bulls &amp; Cows</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1554398240&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-3-catcorr&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can enhance your logical thinking and problem solving skills playing a series of games.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>UK Store ($3,000) - </strong><strong>Story World</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1554398277&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-2&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can give the main character in the story your own name, and choose which route the story will take.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>Australia Store ($3,000) - </strong><strong>Deadly Questions</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";qid=1555025530&amp;s=gateway&amp;sr=8-1-fkmrnull&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can learn from<strong> </strong>Aboriginal Victorians about their history and how it affects their lives today.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>Mexico Store ($3,000) - </strong><strong>Trabalenguas Cortos</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";keywords=Trabalenguas+Cortos&amp;qid=1555025546&amp;s=gateway&amp;sr=8-2-fkmrnull&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): You can learn Spanish while having fun by playing more than 350 Spanish tongue twister games.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - Spain Store ($3,000) - Palabras brit&aacute;nicas </strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";keywords=palabras+britanicas&amp;qid=1555025594&amp;s=gateway&amp;sr=8-1&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): The skill challenges you to learn new English words every day for Spanish speakers.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Prize - </strong><strong>Italy Store ($3,000) - Le fiabe di Nonno Merlino</strong> (<a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">watch the submission video</a>, <a href=";keywords=Le+fiabe+di+Nonno+Merlino&amp;qid=1555025571&amp;s=gateway&amp;sr=8-1-fkmrnull&amp;sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">try the skill</a>): An ancient wizard called Grandpa Merlin reads traditional fairy tales, and you can interact with the plot.</p> <h2>Try the Winning Skills and Get Inspired</h2> <p>When you get a chance, try the winning skills and see how they used APL to create engaging voice-first multimodal experiences. As always, share your APL feedback and questions on the <a href=";sc_category=Owned&amp;sc_channel=BG&amp;sc_campaign=skillschallenge&amp;sc_content_category=MM&amp;sc_funnel=&amp;sc_country=WW&amp;sc_segment=">Alexa developer forum</a> and make sure add the &quot;APL&quot; topic to your post.</p> <h2>Resources to Build Multimodal Skills with APL</h2> <ul> <li><a href="">See What Others Have Built with APL</a></li> <li><a href="">How to Design with the Alexa Presentation Language Components to Create New Voice-First Experiences in Your Alexa Skill</a></li> <li><a href="">10 Tips for Designing Alexa Skills with Visual Responses</a></li> <li><a href="">4 Tips for Designing Voice-First Alexa Skills for Different Alexa-Enabled Devices</a></li> <li><a href="">How to Design Visual Components for Voice-First Alexa Skills</a></li> <li><a href="">How to Quickly Update Your Existing Multimodal Alexa Skills with the Alexa Presentation Language</a></li> <li><a href="">New Alexa Skill Sample: Learn Multimodal Skill Design with Space Explorer</a></li> <li><a href="">New Alexa Skill Sample: Learn Multimodal Skill Design with Sauce Boss</a></li> </ul> /blogs/alexa/post/20bafff9-5ff5-4aad-b89c-a87dfb77d753/how-to-create-high-engagement-skill クオリティーの高いスキルを開発するためのヒント Chisato Hiroki 2019-04-12T06:18:08+00:00 2019-04-12T06:18:08+00:00 <p>ここではユーザー発話の認識を向上させるための、サンプル発話やスロット定義についてのトピックを紹介します。 サンプル発話やスロットに関しては、 <a href="">こちら</a> を参照してください。</p> <div> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">ここでは、スキルの認識率を向上させるためのサンプル発話、そしてスロット値の定義の仕方を紹介します。 サンプル発話、スロット値に関しては、 <a href="">こちら</a> を参照してください。</p> <p style="text-align:left">&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align:left">1. ビルトインインテントを優先的に使う</h2> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">ビルトインインテントを優先的に使うことで、発話の認識を向上させることができます。 例えば、スキルのセッションを終わりたい時に使う言葉「<strong>ストップ</strong>」や「<strong>とめて</strong>」、スキルの機能について聞きたい時に使う言葉「<strong>使い方を教えて</strong>」や「<strong>ヘルプ</strong>」などは、すでにビルトインインテントによりカバーされています。</p> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">利用できるビルトインインテントの一覧は、 <a href="">こちら</a> をご参照ください。</p> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">ビルトインインテントでカバーされている機能をカスタムインテントとして設定している場合、該当するビルトインインテントと入れ替えることでスキルの成功率を高めることができます。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">改善前: ChuushiIntent    ストップ ChuushiIntent    とめて ChuushiIntent    もうやだ SetsumeiIntent   使い方を教えて SetsumeiIntent   説明してよ 改善後: AMAZON.StopIntent   ストップ AMAZON.StopIntent   とめて *AMAZON.StopIntent   もうやだ AMAZON.HelpIntent   使い方を教えて *AMAZON.HelpIntent   説明してよ</code></pre> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">ビルトインインテントに含まれていないサンプル発話であっても、ビルトインインテントの拡張として定義することが可能です。 上記の「<strong>もうやだ</strong>」や「<strong>説明してよ</strong>」などのサンプル発話は、現状ビルトインインテントに含まれていません。 しかしながら、ビルトインインテントの拡張として設定することで、これらのサンプル発話でもビルトインインテントを呼び出すことができます。</p> <p style="text-align:left">&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align:left">2. サンプル発話に呼び出しフレーズを含めないようにする</h2> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">スキルの呼び出しフレーズ(呼び出し名+起動フレーズ)がサンプル発話の中にあると、誤ってスキルが再起動してしまう恐れがあります。 サンプル発話に呼び出しフレーズが含まれている場合は、削除してください。</p> <h4 style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">スキルの呼び出し名:今日の星座占い</h4> <pre> <code class="language-java">改善前: UranaiIntent   今日の星座占いを開いて 今日の運勢 UranaiIntent   今日の星座占いを開いて {seiza} の運勢は UranaiIntent   今日の星座占いをスタート 今日の {seiza} の運勢 UranaiIntent   今日の星座占いをスタート UranaiIntent   今日の星座占い UranaiIntent   {seiza} の運勢を教えて 改善後: UranaiIntent   今日の運勢 UranaiIntent   {seiza} の運勢は UranaiIntent   今日の {seiza} の運勢 UranaiIntent   {seiza} の運勢を教えて</code></pre> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">改善前では、スキルの呼び出し名「<strong>今日の星座占い</strong>」と起動フレーズ「<strong>を開いて</strong>」や「<strong>をスタート</strong>」がサンプル発話の中に含まれています。 また、呼び出し名のみのサンプル発話も、スキルを誤作動させる可能性がある為、削除することをおすすめします。</p> <p style="text-align:left">&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align:left">3. サンプル発話にある「終了して」などの重複をなくす</h2> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">ユーザーがスキルとのセッションを完全に終了する際に用いるフレーズ「<strong>終了</strong>」「<strong>終了して</strong>」「<strong>終わり</strong>」は、すでにアレクサに設定されています。AMAZON.StopIntent や AMAZON.CancelIntent の拡張、またはスキル終了用のカスタムインテントにこれらのフレーズを定義している場合は、削除してください。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">AMAZON.CancelIntent   キャンセル *AMAZON.CancelIntent   終了して AMAZON.CancelIntent   もういいよ 改善後: AMAZON.CancelIntent   キャンセル AMAZON.CancelIntent   もういいよ</code></pre> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">上記の例で確認できるように、改善前では「<strong>終了して</strong>」が AMAZON.CancelIntent と重複して定義されています。 このように「<strong>終了</strong>」「<strong>終了して</strong>」「<strong>終わり</strong>」を削除することにより、期待した動作に導くことができます。</p> <p style="text-align:left">&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align:left">4. スロットのみのサンプル発話を別インテントに分ける</h2> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">スロットのみのサンプル発話は、同じインテント内の他のサンプル発話とは別に、独自のインテントを設けることで成功率を高めることができます。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">改善前: AnswerIntent {number} 番 AnswerIntent {number} 番かな AnswerIntent {number} 番だ *AnswerIntent {number} AnswerIntent {number} かな AnswerIntent {number} だと思う 改善後: AnswerIntent {number} 番 AnswerIntent {number} 番かな AnswerIntent {number} 番だ AnswerIntent {number} かな AnswerIntent {number} だと思う *AnswerSlotOnlyIntent {number} </code></pre> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">上記の改善後のように、AnswerSlotOnlyIntentという独自のインテントを作成し、AnswerIntentと区別することにより、スキルとユーザーのインタラクションの精度を高めることができます。</p> <p style="text-align:left">&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align:left">5. カスタムスロット値に多様な言い回しを加える</h2> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">多様な言い回しをカスタムスロット値に追加することで、スキルがより高い確率でユーザーのリクエストに応えられるようになります。</p> <h4 style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">カスタムスロットタイプ: room</h4> <pre> <code class="language-java">改善前: room   リビングルーム, キッチン, バスルーム 改善後: room   リビングルーム,リビング, 居間, キッチン, 台所, 厨房, バスルーム, 浴室, 風呂場, お風呂, 風呂</code></pre> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">改善前では、カスタムスロットタイプ「<strong>room</strong>」に「<strong>リビングルーム</strong>」と「<strong>キッチン</strong>」「<strong>バスルーム</strong>」しか定義されていません。 それぞれの異なる言い回し「<strong>リビング</strong>」や「<strong>台所</strong>」「<strong>風呂場</strong>」などを追加することで、スキルが該当の値をより高い確率で認識することができます。</p> <p style="text-align:left">&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align:left">6. 誤字・脱字がないようにする</h2> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">サンプル発話やスロット値に誤りがあると、ユーザーのリクエストが正しく認識されません。</p> <pre> <code class="language-java">改善前: ShitumonIntent   {doubutu} について ShitumonIntent   {doubutu} について*期待 ShitumonIntent   {doubutu} のことが知りたい ShitumonIntent   {doubutu} をお願い doubutu 猿, シマウマ, クジラ, *ペギン 改善後: ShitumonIntent   {doubutu} について ShitumonIntent   {doubutu} について*聞きたい ShitumonIntent   {doubutu} のことが知りたい ShitumonIntent   {doubutu} をお願い doubutu 猿, シマウマ, クジラ, *ペンギン</code></pre> <p style="margin-left:0mm; margin-right:0mm; text-align:left">改善前では「<strong>聞きたい</strong>」が「<strong>期待</strong>」と誤って定義されているので、ユーザーが「<strong>シマウマについて聞きたい</strong>」とリクエストしても、スキルが正常に認識しない恐れがあります。 同様に、改善前では「<strong>ペンギン</strong>」が認識されない可能性が高いです。 スキルを申請する前に、誤字や脱字がないよう、サンプル発話やスロット値の確認をお願いいたします。</p> </div> /blogs/alexa/post/ce8c72da-4f28-43d2-b9ea-59f3abe50049/signal-processor-improves-echo-s-bass-response-loudness-and-speech-recognition-accuracy Signal Processor Improves Echo’s Bass Response, Loudness, and Speech Recognition Accuracy Larry Hardesty 2019-04-11T13:00:00+00:00 2019-04-11T13:00:00+00:00 <p>Novel&nbsp;reconfigurable-filter-bank design enables more precise control of signal waveforms.</p> <p>Multiband dynamics processing, which separately modifies volume in different frequency bands of an audio signal, is known to improve listeners’ audio experiences. But in the context of voice-controlled systems like the Amazon Echo family of products, it can also improve automatic speech recognition by making echo cancellation easier.</p> <p>Traditional multiband dynamics processors (MBDPs) have a few drawbacks, however. When splitting a signal into its component frequencies, they don’t always achieve clean separation; and they tend to use fixed frequency bands, which can’t be adjusted to the characteristics of specific audio devices.</p> <p>Both of these drawbacks can affect the listener’s perception of both the loudness and bass response of an audio signal. They can also cause distortions that make echo cancellation more difficult.</p> <p>At this year’s International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, my colleagues and I present a novel <a href="" target="_blank">MBDP design</a> that addresses both these drawbacks. The technology began shipping in Alexa-enabled devices in 2017, and extensive user testing indicates that it improves listener perception of loudness and bass. In tests, it significantly improved performance on a fundamental speech recognition task. Moreover, the computational complexity of our MBDP system is small.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="scrollingwaveformsV2.gif" src="" style="display:block; height:350px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:500px" />&nbsp;<br /> <em><sup>Three waveforms: an original audio signal (top); the signal after processing by a conventional MBDP system, with spiky deformations throughout (middle); and the signal after processing by our novel system, which limits the distortion but better preserves shape (bottom).</sup></em></p> <p>An MBDP has two main functions: one is compression, or keeping the ratio of a signal’s maximum and minimum volumes within a prescribed range; and the other is peak limiting, or cutting off sudden volume spikes that can cause distortion or even cause the signal from cutting out momentarily, a condition called brownout.&nbsp;</p> <p>Applying different compressors and limiters to different frequency bands provides greater signal control. But it also depends on filters that can provide clean frequency separation. So the key to our system’s performance is its configurable filter-bank design.</p> <p>Our filter bank consists of a cascade of filters, all of which or only a few of which may be used at a time. An incoming signal is split in two; half of it passes to two sequential high-pass filters, which filter out frequencies below a cutoff frequency, and the other half passes to two sequential low-pass filters, which filter out frequencies above the same cutoff frequency.</p> <p>The signal from the high-pass filter may be split again, and again passed to separate banks of high-pass and low-pass filters. This process may repeat an arbitrary number of times, and at each stage, the output of the low-pass filter passes to an “all-pass” filter, which leaves the signal unchanged but enables the synchronization of all the bands. The high-pass and low-pass frequencies may be set to arbitrary values, so that the filtration frequency bands can be tailored to specific applications.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="Filterbank_architecture.png" src="" style="display:block; height:322px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:700px" /><br /> <em><sup>Our proposed reconfigurable filter bank</sup></em></p> <p>The signal in each frequency band passes to its own dedicated compressor and then to a limiter. At that point, the frequency-specific signals are recombined and passed to full-band limiter, which ensures that the frequency-specific modifications don’t cause the signal as a whole to distort.</p> <p>Echo cancellation systems like the one found in Amazon Echo devices subtract a known audio signal — the electrical signal sent to the device’s loudspeaker — from the signal received by the device’s microphones. The more distortion the audio signal suffers, the less it will resemble the reference signal, and the less successful the subtraction will be.</p> <p>Our MBDP system reduces distortion in three ways. First, the greater precision of the filter bank enables better control of the compression ratios in different frequencies. That means that the system can reduce a loudspeaker’s total harmonic distortion without compromising the overall loudness and bass response of the audio signal. &nbsp;</p> <p>Similarly, the frequency-specific and full-band peak limiters ensure that the loudspeaker stays in its “linear dynamic range,” meaning that the sound pressure level doesn’t exceed the threshold at which it will begin to cause distortion.</p> <p>The linear dynamic range is a mechanical property of the loudspeaker. But the electrical signal can become distorted before it even reaches the loudspeaker, if the amplifier attempts to output too high a voltage. This is known as clipping, and the full-band limiter can prevent that, as well.</p> <p>We conducted extensive listening tests, in which study participants reported that audio processed using our reconfigurable MBDP scheme sounds much better and louder than audio processed using the traditional MBDP scheme. Spectral analyses also demonstrated that our system increases bass response by about five decibels.</p> <p><img alt="FRR_graph.png" src="" style="display:block; height:351px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:400px" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em><sup>Our system (blue line) significantly reduced the rate at which an Echo device falsely rejected Alexa’s wake word (false reject rate, or FRR), as a function of device audio volume.</sup></em></p> <p>To evaluate our system’s effect on speech recognition, we tested Echo devices’ responses to Alexa’s wake word — usually “Alexa” — when they were broadcasting audio at a range of volumes. We found that using our MBDP scheme instead of the traditional scheme significantly reduced the number of false rejects, or instances in which the Echo failed to recognize the wake word. We also found that the higher the Echo’s output volume, the greater the advantage offered by our approach.</p> <p><em>Jun Yang is a senior research scientist in Amazon Devices' Hardware Technology and Architecture group.</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Paper</strong></a>: “Reconfigurable Multitask Audio Dynamics Processing Scheme”</p> <p><strong>Acknowledgments</strong>: Amit S. Chhetri, Carlo Murgia, Philip Hilmes</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Audio Watermarking Algorithm Is First to Solve &quot;Second-Screen Problem&quot; in Real Time</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">How an Echo Device Could Locate Snaps, Claps, and Taps</a></li> <li><a href="">Amazon Scientist Outlines Multilayer System For Smart Speaker Echo Cancellation And Voice Enhancement</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Amazon at ICASSP</a></li> </ul>