VentureBeat reports: “Alexa somewhat recently gained what Amazon calls “name-free skill interaction,” which enables it to parse intent from requests that don’t explicitly name third-party voice apps. (For instance, “Alexa, get me a car” might launch Uber, Lyft, or some other ride-hailing service.) But as scientists at the Seattle company’s Alexa AI research division note, it’s more challenging than it seems on the surface — the AI system that maps utterances to skills (dubbed “Shortlister”) would ideally need to be retrained from scratch each time new skills are added to the Alexa Skills Store.”

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