Amazon’s Alexa senior vice president Tom Taylor has said that the company wants its users to stop talking to their voice assistants as much and get on with their lives.
“We believe that the future of consumer technology is ambient intelligence, which uses AI to weave together devices and intelligent services,” Taylor said at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon.
“This isn’t just more connected devices. It’s about adding intelligence throughout the system to make the devices better.”
The tech giant is trying to improve its AI assistant range so it can better anticipate what humans require from them.
“It’s there when you need it and recedes into the background when you don’t,” Taylor said in reference to a future version of Alexa.
Taylor added that he believed this would be the “next big leap forward” for technology inside and outside the home.
“Ultimately this means that you’ll reach for your phone a little bit less and you’re talking to Alexa less,” he said.
“It means you’re spending more time looking up at the world and the people in it.”
Amazon already introduced Alexa Routines to its Alexa-enabled devices which mean the device performs certain actions at certain times.
This could be turning off the lights when everybody leaves the house, or reading out the news when the alarm goes off in the morning.
All of these routines can be trigged by sounds, or visual actions, which the company is looking to introduce in the near future.
The ecommerce brand introduced Ring custom events which can be used to open garage doors when packages arrive for example.
“With this ambient intelligence all around you, increasingly you don’t have to ask Alexa to do these tasks around your house,” Taylor added.
The company recently announced a new range of Alexa devices, including a home assistant robot, “Astro”
Astro comes equipped with an extendable “periscope” camera that it is able to pop up from its head, giving it the capability to look over surfaces.
Amazon used an example of it checking to see if a gas hob had been left on once the homeowner left the house.