Amazon Alexa Down: Echo's Voice Assistant Not Working Across The US

For years people have dreamed about creating the real-world Babel Fish, that lovely creature imagined by Douglas Adams as being able to automatically translate all languages in real time.

Amazon, which now offers AI translation as a service for developers, does not now provide cultural context or understanding through Alexa.

A widespread Alexa outage Friday likely resulting from issues with Amazon Web Services has reminded people of last month's Super Bowl Ad in which the virtual assistant lost her voice and was helped out by a variety of celebrities.

According to several close sources, as reported by Yahoo Finance, Amazon is "seriously exploring" real-time translation abilities for Alexa.

While some Alexa services are still functioning through the phone app, users have been unable to use voice commands to access information or services.

In other words, in the above example, Alexa would consider the Japanese's culture, which is more formal and conservative than American culture.

Assuming the sources' claims are accurate, Amazon's Alexa could one day be a cross-culture tool that includes, when necessary, language translations.

Amazon is not the only major tech company that seeks to beef up the translation capabilities of its products. It can already do the basic but it still has potential to become smarter.

Amazon reportedly also wants Alexa to be capable of translating languages on-the-fly which means that if someone is talking to you in a local language that you do not understand, Amazon would translate it into your native language in real-time. In 2017, Google boasted that the Pixel Buds ($159 ) were able to perform accurate real-time translation on the go, but the feature was not well received.

  • Joey Payne