Amazon plans to teach Alexa real-time language translation

By buying Ring and other smart home start-ups tech's biggest firms try to lure more people into their ecosystems

It went quiet for users in many locations Friday because of an outage within Amazon's cloud data service, AWS.

So for instance if someone from the USA attends a wedding in Japan without knowing a word of Japanese, Alexa would help the person hold a conversation in the local language.

While Amazon doesn't have a status page for its consumer products, Down Detector is reporting a huge spike in Alexa-related complaints over the last hour. To a small degree, Alexa already does this-it's capable of translating basic words and phrases into Spanish, German, French, and Italian.

There are other devices and services that offer early versions of real-time translation, such as the Google Pixel Buds. It would ideally have an understanding of Japanese culture as well and would incorporate that knowledge into its translations.

The virtual assistant has also been making predictions ahead of this year's ceremony, and also has Alexa Skills available - which can be used to discuss the awards or take part in trivia quizzes on the event. Alexa may also, in the future, translate multiple speakers talking in different languages at the same time.

Is your Alexa device experiencing issues? One of the sources told Yahoo that the e-commerce giant is working on turning Alexa into "a context-savvy, real-time universal language translator".

With Alexa going mobile, real-time translation would come in handy when visiting another country and trying to do something as seemingly simple as ordering food or asking for directions. We have reached out to Amazon for details on what happened and when the digital assistant will be back up and running.

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