Alexa gains eight new voices - but they're for developers for now

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Adding new voices into a skill can make it more interesting for customers to use, according to an Amazon blog post. It will give skills more varied personalities, which should lead to a richer experience - or at least that's the idea. Take this survey to apply to participate in the developer preview, where you can help us refine the feature.

Amazon is giving this choice to developers through their Polly text-to-speech service.

Amazon Polly was first introduced at Amazon's re:Invent developer event in November 2016, and has been steadily ramping up its capabilities in the time since.

The drivers are mass market smart security products from Nest, Hive and Netgear, which are building out their ecosystems with partnerships and acquisitions, such as the recent acquisition of Ring by Amazon.

If you already use multiple voices in your skill via using.mp3 files or another technique, consider Amazon Polly for its natural-sounding voices and ease of maintenance.

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Amazon has made it possible for coders to embed eight different computerized voices into their skills for the company's Alexa voice-activated digital assistant.

While the speech engine today supports a couple dozen languages, only the U.S. English voices are being offered to Alexa developers at this time.

The bank used the Alexa Skills Kit to create the services.

Polly's voices are far from ideal, of course, but as they see more use, that could change.