Amazon rolls out 'Whisper Mode' for Alexa-powered devices

Alfred Osborne
October 20, 2018

It allows the Echo smart speakers to intelligently reduce the voice assistant's volume when you whisper a command to it.

Amazon is rolling out a new update for Alexa users in the U.S. which brings the new Whisper Mode to the smart speaker.

It comes in response to complaints from customers that Alexa wakes up their partners, children and pets. To enable it in the app, open your settings menu, tap "Alexa Account", then head into "Alexa Voice Responses" and toggle "Whispered Responses". The easiest way to do that is to just say "Alexa, turn on Whisper Mode". With it, Alexa can discern the volume of your voice and, when you whisper a command to her, whisper back.

Once you have it up and running, Alexa will automatically whisper responses back to you, depending on if you're whispering or not. TechCrunch also notes that you can turn on Whisper Mode by saying - what else?

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Whisper Mode was first unveiled last month, but it should be rolling out to all Echo device owners today; at least, those in the US.

The idea behind this feature is training Alexa to recognize conversational cues.

Amazon detailed in a blog post how the company is using machine learning to understand whispered speech.

Incoming audio signals are broken into ultrashort snippets, and the long short-term memory network processes them in order.

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