Two cool new things coming from smart speakers and streaming services

If you have an Amazon smart device, you’ll know that you’re always been nagged to get Alexa to try new things. And to be fair, Alexa is becoming more and more of a smartypants.

As of this week, Alexa can serve up live, acoustic, a cappella, remixed, instrumental and other versions of available recordings. Oh, and if your preferred language is Vietnamese or Maori, Alexa can now understand you.

Meanwhile, Spotify filed a patent for a “mood-reading” voice assistant. The goal is to have Spotify be sensitive to the emotion in your voice when speaking to a smart device.

For example, if a certain song starts playing and you go “ugh,” the assistant will recognize that as a negative response and automatically move on. (Amazon is working on a similar device, too.)

The robots are becoming sensitive to us. Watch out.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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