Programmatic Lunch

Amazon opens up Alexa voice technology to all developers

Tyrone Stewart

Amazon EchoAmazon Web Services, Amazon’s software-as-a-service unit, has rolled out its Lex AI service to all developers – after releasing it in preview towards the end of last year, along with Polly and Rekognition.

Amazon Lex uses the technology behind Alexa to build conversational interfaces using voice and text. It enables developers to build apps with speech recognition and natural language understanding capabilities. These capabilities mean that developers can offer users very similar services to what Alexa provides via Amazon devices. Apps could perform tasks such as giving the latest news and weather, ordering food, booking holidays, and much more.

Once apps have been built, they can be published to mobile and internet of things (IoT) devices, web apps, and chat services such as Messenger, Slack or Twilio.  

“We thought customers might be excited to use the same technology that powers Alexa to build conversational apps, but we've been blown away by the customer response to our preview – as organisations in virtually every industry like Capital One, Freshdesk, Hubspot, Liberty Mutual, Ohio Health, and Vonage have mobilised quickly to build on top of Amazon Lex,” said Raju Gulabani, VP for databases, analytics, and AI at Amazon Web Services.