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My Amazon Echo device has started not understanding my voice!

Mr Allen

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Topic.

I got an Amazon Echo Plus device for Christmas last year, and I've been using it all year so far to play songs and do other stuff, but lately Alexa doesn't always understand me! Like this tea time I asked her to set a 20 minute timer for while my tea was in the Oven and she kept saying "sorry, I don't know".

OK I know I speak very broadly, hence my problems with places like non UK call centres, but it's only recently that my device sometimes gets it wrong!

Is it user error or something else?
 
Topic.

I got an Amazon Echo Plus device for Christmas last year, and I've been using it all year so far to play songs and do other stuff, but lately Alexa doesn't always understand me! Like this tea time I asked her to set a 20 minute timer for while my tea was in the Oven and she kept saying "sorry, I don't know".

OK I know I speak very broadly, hence my problems with places like non UK call centres, but it's only recently that my device sometimes gets it wrong!

Is it user error or something else?

I refuse to have any technology like that in my home. No Alexa for me.
 
Why is it (Alexa) so necessary? You sound positively freaked out. It’s a machine. A can opener is more useful. I honestly don’t know why it is important. What does it do for you?

Plays music, gives me the time of day (literally) and times the Oven for my evening meals (when she understands my voice), she also says good morning and good night when I get up and go to bed.

You don't HAVE to socialise with her, I get that might be your problem, but it's a very useful device, my Parents have one and my Brother has 2 at his House in London, England.
 
The music thing I understand. The rest I do not. I wear a watch, have clocks, and cell phones tablets, computers tell us all the time. The stove usually comes with a timer (maybe not in the UK?). Also cell phones have timers.

I get talked to and at all day long (work); and I listen to non-music NPR (radio) when I am home, so “her” voice would not be worth the price either. Why have one...and really, why have more than one. I still don’t get it, beyond having on demand instant music. Of course I read you can instantly order stuff off Amazon, but that scares me. All too easy to shop and spend money.

I have heard scientists are experiementing with Alex for nursing homes, as lonely elderly people actually enjoy talking to her, and having her tell them jokes etc. So I get that too, but yikes, shoot me and end my life IF I get to the point when I need a machine to tell me jokes or keep me company. Cats are tremendous pets, and I will stick with those instead.
 
@Mr. Allen: Since Amazon update firmware from time to time, and make changes to Alexa-voice services regularly, the change in response may well be the result of their modification to Alexa responses rather than any change on your part. On the other hand, it is also possible that when you use the wake word, your Echo has problems either connecting to the internet, or in getting your voice data up to the servers, or the response back.

I have noticed all sorts of weirdness from Alexa from time to time, and find that it is sometimes useful to look at what command Amazon actually thought it heard by using the home page in the Alexa app. That should give you an idea if it is mis-hearing, or by replaying the audio it captured listening to see if there are other sounds or even voices that it captured and which make translation difficult or unreliable.

Finally, there used to be a feature in the Alexa app to train Alexa to understand your specific voice. I'm not certain that this is still there, but if it is, you might find you get better and more consistent responses by teaching it was a good Yorkshire accent is like!
 
Some other things to consider as well...

3) Alexa doesn’t understand me


"I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question, can be Alexa’s most uttered phrase at times and it can be really frustrating. Alexa’s voice recognition naturally improves as it gets to know you, but there are ways to avoid repeating yourself.

Start by using the voice training tool. Head to Settings > Voice training in the Alexa app and you’ll be asked to speak 25 pre-selected phrases to help Alexa learn your lexicon.

Next, check what Alexa actually heard. The Alexa app keeps a note of all of your requests, so you can see exactly what she heard. Go to the app’s Settings and hit History. Here you can identify common misheard words and perhaps express them more clearly."

"Finally, note your position. Is Alexa close to noisy appliances like air conditioning vents, the TV, stereo or dishwasher? Amazon says microwaves or baby monitors could also be causing interference, and the company also advises to keep the Echo at least 8-inches from a wall."

https://www.trustedreviews.com/opinion/amazon-echo-problems-2946622
 
@Mr. Allen: Since Amazon update firmware from time to time, and make changes to Alexa-voice services regularly, the change in response may well be the result of their modification to Alexa responses rather than any change on your part. On the other hand, it is also possible that when you use the wake word, your Echo has problems either connecting to the internet, or in getting your voice data up to the servers, or the response back.

I have noticed all sorts of weirdness from Alexa from time to time, and find that it is sometimes useful to look at what command Amazon actually thought it heard by using the home page in the Alexa app. That should give you an idea if it is mis-hearing, or by replaying the audio it captured listening to see if there are other sounds or even voices that it captured and which make translation difficult or unreliable.

Finally, there used to be a feature in the Alexa app to train Alexa to understand your specific voice. I'm not certain that this is still there, but if it is, you might find you get better and more consistent responses by teaching it was a good Yorkshire accent is like!

Well I've just put my tea on and asked "Alexa, set t'timer for 20 minutes", and she did it.
 
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