(Pocket-lint) - Those of you who really want Alexa to have different voices will be happy with this latest development.
Amazon has released a new developer preview that essentially lets Alexa skill developers add a new voice to their skills. They can pick from a handful of available voices (made possible by Polly, Amazon's text-to-speech service). So, for example, they can give a different voice to each character in an adventure story or in a game skill.
Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into lifelike speech, allowing developers to create apps that talk - or some other speech-enabled product. Polly uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesise speech that sounds like a human voice. Now, developers can leverage Polly to add additional natural-sounding voices to their skills.
They can even ditch Alexa' voice altogether and use Polly's voices for every utterance in their skills. This new capability currently includes eight different US English voices. However, Polly supports about two dozen languages, so it's reasonable to assume that support for UK English voices might arrive sometime in the near future.
But it should take a bit before multi-voice skills arrive, as Alexa skill developers have to get on board and take advantage of Polly. Still, it's great timing on Amazon's behalf, considering Google just added six new voices to Assistant.