The New York TimesThe New York Times

How Amazon taught Alexa to speak in an Irish brogue

By Bernhard Warner

01 Jul 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. Amazon data scientists Marius Cotescu and Georgi Tinchev have been teaching Alexa, the company's digital assistant, to adopt an Irish accent using AI and recordings from native speakers.

DUBLIN — Like Henry Higgins, the phonetician from George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion,” Marius Cotescu and Georgi Tinchev recently demonstrated how their student was trying to overcome pronunciation difficulties.

The two data scientists, who work for Amazon in Europe, were teaching Alexa, the company’s digital assistant. Their task: to help Alexa master an Irish-accented English with the aid of artificial intelligence and recordings from native speakers.

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