Amazon's Alexa goes quiet


Amazon is looking to make Alexa more useful not just by adding a new feature but adding one that will help tackle language and cultural barriers. It went quiet for users in many locations Friday because of an outage within Amazon's cloud data service, AWS.

Some Amazon Alexa users were met with deafening silence Friday, with the voice-controlled digital assistant going down across the U.S. According to, a website that monitors technology outages and service interruptions, issues with Alexa began after 9:30 a.m. EST.

So for instance if someone from the USA attends a wedding in Japan without knowing a word of Japanese, Alexa would help the person hold a conversation in the local language. Google Pixel Buds has a similar feature and obviously work with a Google Assistant.

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Alexa is already capable of translating short terms and phrases from Spanish, German, Italian, French, and English into native languages.

The information comes from Yahoo Finance, which explains that sources say Amazon's Alexa team is working on ways to improve the assistant's usefulness in different cultures and languages. It would ideally have an understanding of Japanese culture as well and would incorporate that knowledge into its translations.

Word of this potential Alexa upgrade suggests that Amazon is getting more serious about taking Alexa mobile. For example, Alexa can secure your wireless network with McAfee voice commands, send SMS messages through your Android phone, call for backup in Destiny 2, summon an Uber when you need a ride, and even order a pizza.