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A 'super' hint from Amazon?

07 February 2018

The 90-second Amazon spot, which aired during the fourth quarter of the Philadelphia Eagles' victory over the New England Patriots, had a amusing conceit: Alexa, the company's digital assistant, has "lost her voice".

The company uses "acoustic fingerprints" that help your Echo understand that you're being advertised to, rather than asking her to get a job done.

Amazon Alexa Senior Vice President Tom Taylor walks on stage during a Panasonic press event for CES 2018 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 8, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"The trick is to suppress the unintentional waking of a device while not incorrectly rejecting the millions of people engaging with Alexa every day", said Amazon's Shiv Vitaladevuni.

Amazon created acoustic fingerprinting technology that can distinguish between the ad and actual customer utterances, according to the company.

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Rate Super Bowl ads right now in Ad Age's' first Super Bowl Ad Rank, based on scores from marketing pros-that's you-of entertainment value and effectiveness. An algorithm within Amazon's cloud detects matching audio from distinct devices and prevents additional devices from responding.

It's unclear exactly how poor Alexa's voice gave out. Further, the executive stated that the technology is not ideal, but 80-90% of the devices would not respond to broadcasts. By running Alexa commercials through digital audio editing software, Asphyhackr discovered that Alexa ads transmit weakened levels of sound in an upper portion of the audio spectrum, between 3,000 and 6,000 hertz, outside the most sensitive range of human hearing. "It's a very positive surprise for us".

Echo devices won't be waking up all of a sudden, even if the TV calls Alexa.

Now Amazon is shooting down the theory that it was sending a signal.

A 'super' hint from Amazon?