Alexa Loses Her Voice in Widespread Outage

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One possible way of doing this is by having Alexa translate language in a more sophisticated manner. Amazon also plans to instruct Alexa to translate conversations between people that are from different countries and are speaking simultaneously to one another.

Alexa can already translate short phrases and words in Spanish, German, French and Italian but cannot decipher more meaningful or contextual situations that languages often need.

Amazon's bigger goal, however, is to teach Alexa to become a multilingual assistant. "Alexa, what do I say to the father of the bride at a wedding in Japan?" It would ideally have an understanding of Japanese culture as well and would incorporate that knowledge into its translations.

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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. Context and cultural awareness is something that's still missing.

Alexa's super translation abilities would mean the Amazon product would head out into the world with users - not just stay at home on a counter waiting to turn on lights and play music while you cook dinner. Last year, Google debuted the Pixel buds wireless headphones, which are capable of real-time translation using Assistant, Google Translate and the user's Android phone.

TIME reached out to Amazon for more information about the outage, and will update with more information as necessary. It went quiet for users in many locations Friday because of an outage within Amazon's cloud data service, AWS.