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Amazon's Alexa Passes 15,000 skills, Up From 10,000 in February ( 90

As more and more companies get into the smart speaker game, a new report shows just how much ground they have to make up to catch Amazon's digital assistant, Alexa. From a report: Amazon's Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills -- the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. The figure is up from the 10,000 skills Amazon officially announced back in February, which had then represented a 3x increase from September. The new 15,000 figure was first reported via third-party analysis from Voicebot, and Amazon has since confirmed the figure. According to Voicebot, which only analyzed skills in the U.S., the milestone was reached for the first time on June 30, 2017. During the month of June, new skill introductions increased by 23 percent, up from the less than 10 percent growth that was seen in each of the prior three months.
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Amazon's Alexa Passes 15,000 skills, Up From 10,000 in February

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  • Awesome. (Score:5, Funny)

    by sunking2 ( 521698 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:03AM (#54746761)
    You know, like numchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!
    • Re:Awesome. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mfh ( 56 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:19AM (#54746879) Homepage Journal

      I get that you're joking but the erosion of our language to this pseudo-marketing language is devolving us completely as a species.

      No corporation can deny the meaning of common words.

      Skill is not the same as "number of apps interfacing with a hardware system," and this perversion of language continues to be tolerated.

      Corporations want this because it means they can make a word mean whatever will benefit them the most, either to limit their own culpability or to trigger a buying response.

      Amazon wants to take the word "skills" and apply it to "app-count" but if this was truly an amazing product, it would work on every app and not require special coding just to get it to work.

      • I agree this choice of words is particularly insufferable.

        I don't follow Amazon's Alexa, so I had no idea what TFS was trying to say.

        It would have done better to put 'skills' (apps) rather than simply misusing the word the way Amazon do.

      • Re:Awesome. (Score:4, Funny)

        by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @11:26AM (#54747387)

        Skills skills are more skillful then LUDDITE apps! Only LUDDITE appsters lack skill skills!

        Skilly skill SKILLS!

    • If you want to impress the ladies, making awesome deviled eggs during the holiday season is the skill to learn. One year I made 17 dozen deviled eggs for a half-dozen holiday parties. I was the most popular guy at every party.
    • You know, like numchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!

      Yeah, but can it draw a Liger, known for its skills in magic?

  • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:09AM (#54746799)
    I've never been able to convince anyone that farting is a skill.
    • by Topwiz ( 1470979 )

      I was wondering if one of those "skills" is that it would laugh whenever someone in the room farted.

      • This is probably going to sound like a lie. I'm okay with you disbelieving me. Still, I mst tell you about a chick we are going to call Zoe. Why are we going to call her Zoe? Well, that is her name.

        Anyow, she was my typical girlfriend at that time. She was pretty, pretty much insane, and pretty useless in the grander scale. She was a granola eating hippie chick with a false projection of being peaceful.

        One of her favorite things to do, assuming she didn't have to pretend to be someone else, was farting. Yup

    • This guys quite talented []
    • Farting is easy.

      Blowing that excess pressure out the other end on the other hand...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Post when I can say, "Computer, analyze the data from the census bureau and tell me what counties in the USA grew the fastest over the one hundred years. Make it so."

    "Computer, write me a video game where I can beat up CNN reporters and as I gain points, I become bigger and so does my hair but my fingers become shorter. The final prize is winning the tall beautiful Slovakian super model."

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:14AM (#54746849)
    >> Amazon's Alexa voice platform (now has) 15,000...apps

    And only 42% of them are malware.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why are you people working for free to further Amazon's ambitions?

    • It's what slashdot is now. So many of us have adblock on that they've resorted to opening up the firehose to advertisers.

  • by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:21AM (#54746897) Homepage

    Amazon's Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills...

    ...and only 14500 of them start with "buy: or "purchase" .

  • 15,000 skills and still misunderstands what I tell it 75% of the time.

    Alexa's inability to understand an English accent is matched only by operators of fast-food drive thru restaurants in the US.

  • I did a skill to get a t-shirt back when they were running that promotion. I would like to write more but how do you monetize skills? Last I checked there's not like a "skill store" or anything.

    I have an echo dot and I love it but just use it for news and timers more or less. It's useful when you have kids because you use it for timeouts hah "Alexa! set a timer for 10 minutes!". I also use it for music but not very much since the dot speaker isn't all that great.
  • I'm often wary of headlines touting numbers. Doubly so when it involves a product, trebly so with anything political.

    Oh yay, 15,000 apps (apps!) that aren't terribly useful. Very droll....

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:37AM (#54747013) Journal

    Do any of you know if the Alexa AI has yet reached the equivalent mental age of a 16 year old? Asking for a friend.

  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:39AM (#54747019)
    I read the article, and I still have no idea what this article means. What the fuck does "skill" mean in this context?
    • It means the other "personal assistants" are beating it in functionality, so every little thing on the amazon device is declared a "skill"
      • Is Amazon trying to have Alexa have the same functionality as all "personal assistants"? I'm not sure I want a personal assistant with the capabilities of Bill Clinton's.

  • and still it remains mostly useless. I say this not as a troll, but as a paying customer.
    If I wanted to use the Alexa app for every goddammed thing I asked, I wouldn't have spent the money to begin with.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @12:29PM (#54747889) Homepage

    Doesn't mean most of them aren't shit. There's one that reads out Zoidberg quotes, and another that plays firework noises. Yay.

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.