Amazon Alexa is a voice assistant enabled on wide range of Amazon Echo devices.
Aimylogic enables you to create voice skills for Alexa connecting your bot to the Alexa Channel. Skill adds voice features to Alexa allowing the user to invoke your service. Please learn more about Alexa skills here.
How to create a skill for Alexa
Aimylogic provides Alexa channel that can be connected to your bot. Just click the Channels item in the left menu and then Alexa. Configuration screen appears.
Here you can customise an invocation name of your skill (the name user has to say to invoke your skill), skill's locale and the name of the channel. Then you have to click Connect button and grant Aimylogic to build an Alexa skill for you.
Please note that you have to have an Amazon Developer account to create skills for Alexa, not a regular Amazon account
Once the skill is created, a new channel will be added to your bot.
If you are facing issues adding the Alexa channel, most probably you haven't finish creating your Amazon Developer account. Please come back to your Amazon Developer account and make sure to fill in all the registration fields.
How to test a skill
You can click on Open Test Console button to test your skill in the Alexa Developer Console.
Note that skill building process may take up to 5 minutes before your skill becomes active
You can also use a physical Echo device under your developer account to test a skill through the voice commands. There is also Reverb application for phones and tablets that emulates Alexa's behaviour and voice.
Please note that built-in test widget of Aimylogic uses different NLP engine, that is why it's better to use Amazon's test console or Echo device to test your skill during development
How to use Amazon entities in your skill
Amazon provides a set of built-in entities that can be extracted by Alexa from the user voice query. You can use any of these entities as regular entities in Aimylogic. For example:
Here we use $AMAZON.MusicRecording slot type as an entity in Aimylogic to extract the music track title from the user input.
You can also use your own Custom entities and System entities in your scenarios.
Please note that you can use TEXT entity with prepended or appended words only
SSML in Alexa
You can use SSML tags to create a rich voice response in your skills. To do that, click the Voice assistant options of the Text block, then fill in the Speech synthesis markup field.
How to play audio tracks
Alexa allows skill to play short MP3 tracks (up to 90 seconds length). But you have to convert your MP3 file to the format that is suitable for Echo devices. Please learn how to insert audio tracks into your bot's response and convert MP3 files: Audio converter.
How to publish your skill
During the testing process, the skill is available for you only. Thus, other users cannot interact with your Alexa skill. To make it public please go to the Alexa Developer Console, select your skill and click on Distribution tab. Here you have to provide some data regarding your skill and send it to Amazon review. Once review is passed your skill becomes available for the all users.
How to add another locale to your skill
If you'd like your skill to work with other locales, create a new Alexa channel and paste your Alexa skill ID into the channel settings. Select another locale, customise an invocation name and click Connect.
Aimylogic will not create a new skill - it will add a new locale to the existing one.
Published on: 08 / 10 / 2018