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It’s been a busy week for Amazon’s AI assistant: Alexa Voice Service (AVS) expanded to the United Kingdom and Germany, the Amazon Tap got a hands-free update, and on Friday more than 100 expressions were added to the Alexa Skills Kit.

Also this week: Alexa continued its march beyond 8,000 skills. Below find five skills worth trying, selected from trending skills and customer favorites listed in the Alexa Skills Marketplace.

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The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

This skill can tell you about show guests, play Fallon’s opening monologue, play his weekly thank you segment, and even walk you through how to get tickets to the show.

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This skill works with you to make songs. You tell the skill what kind of song you want (fast/slow/Valentine’s Day theme), give it some lyrics, and out comes a song ready to share on Twitter. My favorite part about this skill is that you can easily change both the song type and the lyrics for your ditty.

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The Chineasy skill will teach you a new sentence in Mandarin Chinese every day or give a daily lesson.

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This skill from NASA sends you updates about the Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars and answers frequently asked questions about the Red Planet.

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Talk to this skill to discover a broad range of compelling facts. While testing this skill I learned about body farms, where dead bodies are left out so scientists can learn more about the decomposition process, and about how Dutch inventors are harnessing the human energy expelled on a dance floor to make electricity.


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