Amazon opens up Alexa voice and text tech for developers to make new chatbots

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Amazon’s Alexa has executed a surprise takeover of the smart home industry since the launch of the Echo a few years ago, but now the company is opening up Alexa’s technology for other applications. According to a report from Reuters, Amazon is giving developers access to the same tools that make up the foundations of Alexa via a new platform called Amazon Lex. In “preview phase” since 2016, Amazon Lex is now rolling out to all developers and gives them the tool to build “conversational interfaces” using the speech- and text-recognition technology behind Alexa.

This essentially lets developers build new voice- or text-based chatbots into their existing apps, adding an interactive portion that wasn’t available before. While Amazon has allowed companies to build Alexa into their products for quite some time—it nearly took over the smart home section of this year’s CES—Lex allows developers to quickly build chatbots that give the users the power to control their services with voice or text input.

Example of how Lex could be integrated into a chatbot.
Example of how Lex could be integrated into a chatbot.

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