Do you weary of having to use a wake word every time you connect with your home assistant?
Amazon’s Alexa offers a follow-up function that may be useful. When you don’t have to utter “Alexa” every time you have a query or a command, the interaction becomes more conversational.
What Is Follow-Up Mode?
When you set follow-up mode, Alexa will wait for your response after replying to your initial inquiry or order.
For instance, you may ask Alexa, “Alexa, what are some excellent movies?” Alexa will then show or list certain movies. “And any excellent TV shows?” you may follow up. You’d have to ask Alexa, “Alexa, what are some excellent TV shows?” without follow-up mode. It’s a little distinction that makes working with Alexa a bit easier.
How To Enable Follow-Up Mode
“Alexa, enable follow-up mode,” for example, is one approach to activate it. You may also modify the option in the Alexa app for iOS or Android if you like.
- Open the Alexa app.
- In the bottom right corner of the screen, tap the devices icon (it looks kind of like a house.)
- In the top right corner of the screen, tap Echo & Alexa.
- Scroll down until you find the device (for example, Living Room Echo) listed and touch it.
- In the top right corner, tap the settings symbol (a little gear).
- Follow-up mode may be found by scrolling down and tapping it.
- Toggle the Follow-up Mode slider to the right.
Good Conversational Flow
“Alexa, what’s the weather like today?” you may ask if follow-up mode was enabled. “The weather will be pleasant and sunny today with a high of 70 degrees and a low of 50,” Alexa will add.
For around five seconds, the listening indication (typically a blue bar at the bottom of the Echo device) will stay lighted.
You may then say, “How about this weekend?” Alexa will explain the weekend weather prediction. You may follow up with, “Thank you, and how is the local sports team doing?” Alexa will respond to your query.
This might seem to be an uninterrupted interaction between you and Alexa. It nearly seems like you’re having a discussion with a real person.
An Alexa You Can Talk To
As Alexa’s artificial intelligence grows, it may become impossible to distinguish between a chat with Alexa and a communication with a real person.
Making Alexa seem more “human” and user-friendly is most definitely an Amazon objective, as proven by Alexa skills designed to make users grin and chuckle. And, although it’s not an official Alexa skill, there are methods to make Alexa swear if you so choose.
Why Wouldn’t You Enable Follow-Up Mode?
Why wouldn’t Amazon activate follow-up mode by default if it’s so effective at making Alexa more conversational? Perhaps because Alexa isn’t always sure when you want a response and when you don’t. For example, if you are conversing with someone else, Alexa may grow confused and interrupt the discussion.
Remark you’re making arrangements with a pal for the weekend and say, “We should go to the beach this weekend.” “Alexa, add sunscreen to my shopping list,” you say. Alexa adds sunscreen to your list and awaits your response.
“That seems like a lot of fun,” your pal says. Alexa may take this as a follow-up and respond, “Sorry, I don’t know that one.” It’s not a big problem, but you may have to turn off follow-up mode or wait for Alexa to quit listening.
Follow-Up Mode Can Improve Your Alexa Interaction
If you often communicate with Alexa, follow-up mode might help to smooth out the discussion. Perhaps there are more pressing problems, but tailoring Alexa to your needs and tastes is part of its utility and convenience.
Follow-up mode isn’t ideal, but it’s a nice step toward Alexa becoming more conversational.
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