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Amazon released new features today to give the developers of Alexa skills the choice to add more excitement to Alexa’s voice, and the ability to speed or slow her pace — or even whisper.

The new feature is available to Alexa skills makers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany and is delivered via Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) tags. Like Alexa skills, Google Assistant actions can also be created using SSML.

Other SSML tags introduced for Alexa developers today include an expletive beep and a general interest tag. Tags introduced today are the latest initiative by Amazon to make Alexa more expressive.

SSML speechcons were introduced earlier this year to add expressive phrases to Alexa like “Boom!” or “Bada-bing.” Speechcons were made available to U.S. developers in February and U.K. and German developers today, according to a blog post announcing the news.


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“In the U.K., for example, you can use terms such as ‘Blimey’ or ‘Bob’s your uncle’ and in Germany ‘da lachen ja die hühner’ or ‘donnerwetter,’” an Amazon spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Late last year Amazon also introduced a new intent library to improve Alexa’s smarts as it relates to things like book titles and local businesses.

In other Alexa news this week, on Wednesday Amazon introduced the Echo Look, a $199 device that includes a camera and computer vision tech to recommend outfits.

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