Amazon’s Alexa is an amnesiac: it can’t remember important long-term info, or even that you started talking to it a few moments ago. Soon, though, it’ll be considerably less forgetful. Amazon has announced a string of upgrades to Alexa that promise more natural conversations, particularly about familiar subjects. For example, Alexa devices in the US will soon have a memory: you can tell the voice assistant to remember an important fact (say, a friend’s birthday) and bring that up later.
… You also won’t have to use Alexa’s hotword every time you ask a follow-up question. In the US, UK and Germany, the helper will soon answer secondary questions more naturally: if you ask “how’s the weather,” you can ask “how about this weekend” afterward. Amazon is also using its deep learning know-how to allow follow-ups that span across categories. If you ask “how’s the weather in New York City,” for instance, you can ask “how long does it take to get there” — Amazon will know you’re still talking about NYC even though you’ve switched from weather to traffic.