Forcing a user to remember a skill name is counter-intuitive, bad experience and leads to low adoption rates.
PROBLEM: Forcing a user to remember a skill name is counter-intuitive, bad experience and leads to low adoption rates.
Alexa, tell Agent NEO to find my Home Value
Alexa, tell Harmony to turn on my TV
Alexa, ask AllRecipes for a Pasta Recipe
Alexa, find my home's value (Alexa knows that the skill Agent NEO that the user has enabled, can handle this intent)
Alexa, turn on my TV (Alexa knows that the skill Agent NEO that the user has enabled, can handle this intent)
Alexa, find a Pasta Recipe (Alexa knows that the skill AllRecipes that the user has enabled, can handle this intent)
All Alexa has to do to achieve this is, scan through the intent handlers of the skills the user has installed. Then simply pass the command to the correct skill. This is so much smoother than having to tell Alexa to tell a skill name to do something.
Google home introduced this feature a few months ago and it works so seamlessly.
Name-free interaction and tasks solve a few use cases, but is way too limiting. Only useful for generic tasks like printing, ride hailing, etc.
Chip Edwards commented
Upvoted: While I agree that there are cases where an Invocation Name can be implied (and should be), I don't agree that Invocation Names leads to low adoption rates. I believe that properly chosen Invocation Names are an opportunity for extending brand awareness and loyalty. While we may wish for the illusion of broad or general AI, I think there is significant opportunity for branded narrow AI as an interim step that we should take advantage of.
Aaron Kelley commented
Great idea. Per the other user concerns around multiple skills having overlap, you could even add keywords/phrase preference actions to the skill areas and skill default selections, just like you would on any mobile device. I have to choose what default app I want my phone to use for particular things like calendar, email, keyboard, etc, so I would think it wouldn't be hard to do something similar here.
Also, if Alexa is supposed to be able to learn what we want, why should this be any different. If I ask her to do something and she responds incorrectly, or uses performs an unexpected action, Amazon should let the user specify exactly what they wanted to happen by going to the card and choosing from there. This would be more accessible for non-technical users as well, since they could essentially remap what Alexa does based on what it heard without having to create a bunch of routines or custom skills.
Kenneth Ko commented
This could be completely worked around if Amazon added intent/utterance configurability to triggered skills actions in routines. While app names aren’t always short, their configured utterances aren’t always great either. Routines would let us alias them ourselves.
Christopher Clark commented
Agree. Amazon should not allow the certified works with Alexa sticker to be advertised on anything with a skill that makes you do this to prevent companies from doing this (looking at you Guardian Technologies and Aladdin Connect). All it does is lead to frustrated users, abysmal skill reviews, and returns to Amazon.
If there is more than one skill that can handle the request have Alexa ask "Which skill do you want to use?", then enumerate the skills. Then Alexa could also ask "Do you always want this skill for this request?"
This is especially true if the skill has a long or dumb name. Keep skill names as short and simple as you can. Instead of Geoffrey's Easy Home Finance Conductor. Just call it Finance Conductor.
Same with radio stations. Marketing likes to stick all kinds of things onto name. WXYZ Super Rock and Country for Wicomico County!
No, just WXYZ please.
Keep marketing away from voice names!
So not only above suggestion but the UX of voice also needs a lot of education on how to do it right. Reminds you of anything in its early years? The World Wide Web (as they used to say).
Cant believe this doesbt have more votes. I turned my alexa off for 2 reasons; 1. The plug buzzes all the time and 2, life is way to short to have to tell a smart device what you are going to tell it before you tell it. Cant believe amazon even released this whole skill idea its utterly ****, counter intuitive, clunky etc to use.
Definitely agree this approach is better for the customer, but Isn't this what the CanFulfillIntentRequest option takes care of? It's my understanding that you set up that in your skill, and when a customer says something in plain language, Alexa sifts through uninstalled skills that have set up CanFulfillIntentRequest and checks their utterances and intents. Plus that way customers wouldn't have to install the skill ahead of time, the service would discover for them.
M Ludvig commented
Please make this possible! It's so un-intuitive to have to keep repeating the skill name.
Mathieu Monin commented
Good idea I voted for this.
But I've thought to a case which could cause a problem.
If two skills was activated and have the same Intent sentence.
I don't know how google manage this case. maybe if there is ambiguous, it ask wich skill or say that it's doesn't understand.
Troy Mathew commented
Completely agree 100%; I was saying exactly; exactly everything you stated; before I even knew about this site. I don't want to talk constantly to Alexa, I'd rather Alexa know my 'tasks' via my skills. I thought, why not have all the skills in one place, call it a 'List' of your skills. Since the 'list' is on phones, via the Alexa App, there is processing power to scan your list daily to keep you and Alexa updated. Since I have the Alexa phone app, there is storage there (minimal) to keep your 'List' for Alexa to keep track of and also store other items in that folder (I read someone mentioning) where you could also keep all your data that isn't stored on the (Echo) devices, for future retrieval (like witnessing a hit and run, for example, you could tell Alexa to record all the information of the incident in live time, which would be transcribed to SMS...basically. That information could actually be stored on your phone in a retrievable folder (mentioned earlier), via, the Alexa App. That info could be saved until needed and given a kill date to destruct automatically. I think, using the power of your cell, the simple storage folder and the Alexa App would really give Home Alexa a big boost. Since she already knows everything about me by my skills list, we really won't have to communicate via, "Alexa, open, blah, blah, blah". That gets really old, really fast and I have only had Alexa Echo one week today! If she knows me, via my skills list, she can remind me via text, calendar reminders and voice greetings, if I choose. Alexa just needs to sit there, keep tabs on my skills list and keep me up to date on my skills choices. Plus, with geolocation on my phone, the phone App knows exactly where I am, reminding me if I need to grab something one my way home, like birthday candles, for example. My phone App then updates Echo Alexa at home of my location, which then turns my Hue lights on as I pull up to garage and announces I am home to the family. But yeah, very, very annoying of all the Alexa this and Alexa that; tired of it. Was about to send it back today, but reading here, I may keep it for a while. If anything, not a bad sounding music streaming device, just a very dumb annoying device right now.