With just over a month to go, the countdown for AWS re:Invent (November 26-30) has truly begun. The Alexa team has put together a fresh menu of content, and we’re excited to announce the full catalog of all Alexa sessions that will be taking place at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas.
This year, we will have over 50 Alexa technical sessions, hands-on workshops, and interactive chalk talks to help attendees learn to design voice experiences and dive deep into the technology behind the Alexa Skills Kit, Alexa Voice Service, and Alexa smart home. You’ll hear from senior evangelists, product leaders, and engineers, and learn best practices from Alexa developers.
There’s a lot to learn and explore at re:Invent, and you may have to prioritize which sessions to attend. To help you explore what’s available, we’ve curated a list of Alexa sessions you won’t want to miss. The list includes topics ranging from designing visually rich Alexa skills for devices with screens using the new Alexa Presentation Language, integrating in-skill purchasing (ISP) in Alexa skills, creating engaging conversational voice experiences, building Alexa-enabled devices for the connected world, and more. Learn more about each Alexa session in the full AWS re:Invent session catalog.
If You Crave the Cutting Edge
Delivering on the Promise of AI Together — During the AI Summit, Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa Artificial Intelligence (AI), explores the opportunities for AI systems to augment human intelligence in ways that will make it accessible to everyone, increasing the societal good today and into the future.
Alexa Everywhere, a Year in Review — Since its launch in 2015, Alexa has enabled new experiences across many device form factors at home, work, in the car, and on the go. Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski will get you up to speed on the current voice-first movement, conversational AI trends, and the latest Alexa features and devices.
If You’re New to Building Alexa Skills
Chalk Talk: How to Train Your Alexa Skill Language Model Using Machine Learning — In this interactive session, you will Learn how to make your Alexa skill more delightful for customers by optimizing your language model, providing the correct training data for your custom intents, and using specific strategies to improve new and existing language models. If you’re ready to dive into this topic today, check out these resources:
- New Way to Annotate Training Data Should Enable More Sophisticated Alexa Interactions
- How Alexa Is Learning to Converse More Naturally
Chalk Talk: How to Get the Most Out of TTS for Your Alexa Skill — Learn how to apply Alexa’s text-to-speech (TTS) and Amazon Polly features to modify and enhance your speech responses. You’ll walk away with insider tips on how to optimize TTS speech using SSML. Start learning about TTS and SSML today with these resources:
- Expanded Developer Preview: Add Unique Voices to Your Alexa Skill with Amazon Polly
- Announcing the New Alexa Skills Kit Sound Library to Create More Engaging Skills
- Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Reference
If You’ve Built and Published an Alexa Skill
Using Alexa Skills to Sell Digital Content: A Workshop for In-Skill Purchasing — Learn how to add in-skill purchasing to your Alexa skill. We’ll walk you through how to write the code, deploy to AWS Lambda, and use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Software Development Kit (SDK) to save state in Amazon DynamoDB. Leave this workshop with a working skill with in-skill purchasing that you can modify to make your own. Learn more about ISP and how to add in-skill products today with these resources:
- Now You Can Sell Consumables to Enrich Your Voice Experience and Make Money with Alexa Skills
- Sample Skill demonstrating In-Skill Purchasing
- Tips for Adding Consumable In-Skill Products to Your Alexa Skills
- Make Money with Your Alexa Skills through In-Skill Purchasing (Now Generally Available)
Alexa Skill Developer Tools: Build Better Skills Faster — Explore the suite of Alexa developer tools and dive into how you can use them to be more productive in coding, deploying, testing, debugging, and collaborating with others on your skill. Here are a couple articles you may find useful around this subject:
- Quick Start Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface (ASK CLI)
- Accelerate Skill Development Using the ASK Toolkit for Visual Studio Code (Beta)
Chalk Talk: How to Train Your Alexa Skill Language Model Using Machine Learning — Learn how to make your Alexa skill more delightful for customers by optimizing your language model, providing the correct training data for your custom intents, and using specific strategies to improve new and existing language models.
Workshop: Build an Interactive Alexa Voice Experience for Multiple Screens — Learn how to use Alexa to reach millions of new customers by developing for multiple screens using the new Alexa Presentation Language. We will walk step-by-step through the entire process of building an Alexa skill that include graphics, images, slideshows, and video, and to customize them for different device types.
If You’re an IoT Enthusiast or Device Maker
Alexa and AWS IoT — Voice is a natural interface to interact not just with the world around us, but also with physical assets and things, such as connected home devices, including lights, thermostats, or TVs. Learn how you can connect and control devices in your home using the AWS IoT platform and Alexa Skills Kit.
Connect Any Device to Alexa and Control Any Feature with the Updated Smart Home Skill API — Learn about the latest update to the Smart Home Skill API, featuring new capability interfaces you can use as building blocks to connect any device to Alexa, including those that fall outside of the traditional smart home categories of lighting, locks, thermostats, sensors, cameras, and audio/video gear. Start learning about how you can create a smarter home with Alexa.
Workshop: Build an Alexa Skill with Multiple Models — Learn how to build an Alexa skill that utilizes multiple interaction models and combines functionality into a single skill. Build an Alexa smart home skill from scratch that implements both custom interactions and smart home functionality within a single skill. Check out these resources to start learning:
- Understanding the Updated Smart Home Skill API (Preview)
- Develop Smart Home Skills for Multiple Languages
- New Alexa Smart Home Developer Tools Enable Seamless Voice Control of Any Device and Any Feature
If You’re a Game Developer
Three Lessons From Escape the Room That Apply to Making Money With Your Alexa Skills — Hear from Gal Shenar, founder of Stoked Skills, about how he designed and implemented in-skill purchasing for his popular game skills, Escape the Room and Escape the Airplane, which are seeing conversion rates as high as 34%. Learn how to implement a premium content in-skill purchase gate while monitoring user experience flows to increase conversion rates by using AWS Lambda.
Chalk Talk: Supercharge Any Alexa Skill by Understanding What Games Do — Discover what makes an Alexa game skill great. Learn how to build engaging experiences with dialog management, entity resolution, and session persistence. We’ll also explore state handling, multimodal experiences, and cross-device interactions such as Alexa Gadgets and AWS IoT for PC games.
Dive Deep During a Builders Session
If you would like to dive deep with an Alexa expert, sign up up for one of the builders sessions. These are 60-minute small group sessions with up to five developers and one AWS/Alexa expert who can help, answer questions, and provide guidance. Builders session can cover any topic—be sure to reserve a seat when you register for re:Invent.
We Can’t Wait to Meet You at AWS re:Invent
Visit the AWS re:Invent website to register, explore these sessions in more detail, and view the complete catalog of Alexa sessions. To stay in touch and receive the latest Alexa development news before and after AWS re:Invent, subscribe to our newsletter.
Source: Alexa Developer Blog