Amazon Alexa Down: Echo's Voice Assistant Not Working Across The US

Cultural context is the hardest part of speaking a foreign language. Amazon's Alexa could change that

Amazon said its highly popular US-East region has been dropping packets all morning, US West Coast time, thanks to unidentified connectivity problem with Direct Connect.

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.

The artificial intelligence battle between Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant may have just heated up a notch as Ashwin Ram, previously the Senior Manager of Alexa AI, has joined Google as the Technical Director of AI at Google Cloud.

TechCrunch reported some Alexa services, such as turning lights on and off, were still working through the Amazon Alexa app. Alexa would be able to offer the best response based on knowledge of the circumstances (a wedding) and the culture (Japan), making it useful for reasons beyond simple, direct translations.

Alexa is already capable of translating short terms and phrases from Spanish, German, Italian, French, and English into native languages. Google Pixel Buds has a similar feature and obviously work with a Google Assistant. Alexa will also be mindful of the Japanese culture, which is more formal and conservative than American culture. Having been with Amazon for two years in the role of Senior Manager of Alexa AI, Ram was also the lead of the Alexa Prize, a university competition which tasks teams with creating a socialbot that can converse "coherently and engagingly" with humans for 20 minutes.



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