Improve Alexa: Amazon Alexa is currently one of the most popular voice assistants, also thanks to the widespread use of Amazon Echo and the various additional features it is able to offer (skills, home automation devices etc.).
How to Improve Alexa
It will have happened to all Echo owners at least once not to receive a precise answer or to be misinterpreted by Alexa, leading her to execute a wrong command or to provide a generic answer, without executing exactly what we asked for; if we are among these users, in this guide we will show you how to make Alexa more precise in the answers , so that in the subsequent requests she can respond correctly.
Some of the proposed methods concern the placement of Echoes in rooms, while others require the modification of some options from the Alexa app.
How to get accurate answers from Alexa
In order to make Alexa more responsive we can both change the position of the Echoes and change the settings in the Amazon Alexa app (free download for Android and iPhone ). In the second case we will have to carefully evaluate the privacy aspect, since the options indicated will make our commands available to developers and researchers working on Alexa.
Positioning the Amazon Echo
An error in Alexa’s interpretation may also depend on the bad positioning of the Echo, which despite the directional microphones may not accurately grasp our words or misunderstand the commands launched.
To get maximum performance when we launch a voice command, make sure to place the Echo Dot, the classic Echo, the Echo Plus or the Echo Studio in the center of the room , as far as possible from walls and doors.
In this way, the directional microphones positioned at the top will be able to catch each voice clearly and precisely, without reverberations or echoes due to the proximity to the walls.
A good test to understand if the Echo is positioned correctly we can do it by carefully observing the luminous ring of the device when it picks up a voice command: the part of the brightest ring must be turned towards us, an evident sign that our voice is picked up correctly by one or more microphones.
If, on the other hand, the light ring is not facing us or suddenly changes direction, it means that the voice command does not reach the microphones correctly and Alexa could misinterpret the command.
The matter changes if we use the Echo Flex, which is the cheapest device in the fleet of assistants compatible with Alexa and supplied by Amazon itself: this device must be placed at human height, that is, it must be positioned in a socket that allows you to orientate the microphones present towards our torso or towards our head.
Positioning it down or on a distant socket will not allow us to exploit it properly, since the microphones of the Echo Flex tend to be much more inaccurate than those available on the older brothers.
If we have not yet placed any Echo in our home, we recommend that you follow the advice given and use our guide on How to Configure a new Amazon Echo and Alexa settings to start using it immediately.
How to improve Alexa’s responses
After seeing the problems related to the positioning of the Echo, in this part of the guide we will talk about the options available in the Alexa app to make the voice assistant more precise in the answers it provides.
We open the Alexa app on our device, press at the top left on the menu with the three lines, we now press on Settings and then on Privacy Alexa.
In the new window that we will see, go to the Manage your Alexa data menu and activate the buttons next to the items Use voice recordings to improve Amazon Services and to develop new features and Use messages to improve transcriptions .
By activating these two options we will agree to provide part of our recordings for manual analysis by Amazon, which will allow the voice assistant to be much more precise when we speak with it and also recognize any dialectal inflections present in our voice or when we run generic commands.
Amazon guarantees maximum respect for privacy on these analyzes, but the problem nevertheless arises: in order for the voice assistant to express itself correctly and become more precise in the answers, we will have to actively collaborate in its development by sharing only a minimal part of the recordings and requests we make .
If we disable these two voices, Alexa will continue to work but may become less precise towards us, since in fact she has no analysis and no correction based on the way we speak or express ourselves (Alexa will in fact be based only on predefined vocal models , without any personalization).
Progress also requires some privacy sacrifices, especially if we want an Alexa ready and responsive to our every request: if we are picky from this point of view, we should not be surprised if at some point Alexa misinterprets our command or does not throw at all!