VentureBeat’s Bots Channel tracks the most important news and analysis from the exploding field of bots and messaging. Each week, we select the top stories and present them in our free weekly newsletter, BotBeat. We include news stories by VentureBeat staff, guest articles from leading figures in the bots community, and a good number of posts from a wide variety of other outlets. You can subscribe to our BotBeat newsletter to receive this information in your inbox every Thursday.

Here’s this week’s newsletter:

What if, instead of:

“Alexa, play David Bowie on Spotify.”

you said,

“Jeeves, play David Bowie on Spotify.”

Ditto for your iPhone and Google Home. Instead of “Hey, Siri,” or “OK, Google,” what if you could personalize your device and wake it up accordingly?

Jeeves, of course, would be for those who aspire to have a butler. Samantha (from Her) might be for those needing companionship, whereas Babe (for Babe Ruth) could be a favorite for New York Yankees fans.

Given the rapid advances in voice recognition by intelligent assistants, the opportunity to personalize device names and wake-up calls seems a development just around the corner. One can readily envision the feature requiring just a few more steps when setting up a new phone or the smart audio system in a car.

Amazon is reportedly working on an Alexa feature to recognize different voices, a function I’ve been waiting for. An avalanche of similar personalization attributes naturally follow, all of which would make intelligent assistants into the most personal of assistants.

As always, please send news tips to Khari Johnson and guest post submissions to John Brandon. Be sure to visit our Bots Channel for comprehensive news on bots and messaging.

Thanks for reading,

Blaise Zerega

Editor in Chief

P.S. Please enjoy this video of 50 Alexa Voice Commands. (If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy number six.)

From the Bots Channel

Viv homepage screenshotSamsung paid around $215 million for virtual assistant startup Viv

Samsung has disclosed the terms of its recent acquisition of virtual assistant startup Viv Labs. When Samsung made the deal for 238.93 billion won on October 7, the Korean won was equal to $0.0009, meaning that the price came out to around $215 million. San Jose-based Viv Labs, whose team built Apple’s Siri virtual assistant, […]

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Google Home.

Google Assistant now has a slang dictionary, beer guide, and men’s fashion tips

About 20 conversation actions or services have been added to the Google Assistant in recent weeks. There’s now a beer guide to tell you the difference between an IPA or an ale, a street dictionary to remind you what it means to “stay woke” or  “get hyphy,” and online virtual tours from 360 Jungle. Google Assistant conversation […]

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Amazon Echo

Here’s what will drive adoption for another 10,000 Amazon Alexa skills

As of last night, Alexa now has 10,000 skills. As exciting a milestone as this may be, even Alexa isn’t immune to the challenges that come with exceptional growth. Questions around the monetization and user retention rates have been top of mind in recent months, and easing these concerns means reflecting on why these 10,000 […]

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Einstein in Salesforce Service Cloud.

What Salesforce Einstein teaches us about enterprise AI

Every business has customers. Every customer needs care. That’s why CRM is so critical to enterprises, but between incomplete data and clunky workflows, sales and marketing operations at most companies are less than optimal. At the same time, companies that aren’t Google or Facebook don’t have the billion-dollar R&D budgets to build out AI teams […]

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Amazon Alexa

Alexa passes 10,000 skills — here are the top 10

Amazon today announced that there are now more than 10,000 Alexa skills available on devices like the Amazon Echo. By comparison, there were roughly 130 skills available last January, and Amazon surpassed the 5,000 mark just last November. Skills have been created that allow you to order chicken wings, send text messages, control your car, or boost […]

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Beyond VB

Protecting Alexa: Amazon says conversations with Alexa are protected by the first amendment in a murder case.

Amazon has filed a motion to quash a warrant seeking data from an Amazon Echo device that prosecutors think may provide evidence in an Arkansas murder case. (via Vice)

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Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

Chatbots are the new rage as more top brands are advancing the technology and integrating it into their chat systems. Big names such as Facebook and Telegram have already made moves in this arena by creating their own chatbots and chatbot platforms. (via Entrepreneur)

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Amazon Alexa Hits 10,000 Skills. Here Comes the Hard Part

A YEAR AND a half ago, Amazon opened up its Alexa voice assistant to developers. With the Alexa Skills Kit, Alexa and its hardware hosts—the Echo, Dot, Tap, and now dozens more from third parties—became more than just speakers and digital weathermen. (via Wired)

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AI learns to write its own code by stealing from other programs

OUT of the way, human, I’ve got this covered. A machine learning system has gained the ability to write its own code. (via New Scientist)

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