Dave Gershgorn | Quartz | April 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

You Can Now Buy the Brains Behind Amazon’s Alexa

Jeff Chiu/AP

The deep neural networks that power Amazon’s popular voice assistant are up for sale.

Developers will now be able to build their own virtual personal assistants for platforms like Facebook Messenger and Slack with a tool called Amazon Lex, the company announced at its Amazon Web Services Summit April 19.

If you want to build a conversation interface, Amazon says you just need to tell Lex which words to listen for in text or speech, the action required when the virtual assistant detects the phrase, and any potential follow-up questions.

“Amazon Lex takes care of the rest by building a machine learning model that parses the speech or text input from the user, understands the intent behind the conversation, and manages the conversation,” Amazon said in a statement.

We’ve played around with Amazon Lex a little bit, and it’s incredibly easy to build a chatbot using some of Amazon’s stock suggestions. But there are other tools on the market: Facebook-owned Wit.ai also helps build conversational bots, and API.ai does the same with many of the integrations that Amazon touts.

So what are you waiting for? Build an AI bot already and get some VC funding.


Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.