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Tis the season - Issue #33

Tis the season for wrapping presents, holiday spirit, end of the year reviews and next year predictio
Tis the season - Issue #33
By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly • Issue #33 • View online
Tis the season for wrapping presents, holiday spirit, end of the year reviews and next year predictions. So we deliver.
Tis the season also for choosing the conferences you are attending next year. Consider The Alexa Conference, well, because it’s the biggest Alexa gathering, but also, it’s on January 15 - 17,  clock it’s ticking! You can still register, here’s a promo code for a 20% discount: ALEXASPKR226. See you there! We’ll have exciting announcements.

Home Alone with Google Assistant, the version we all want to see
Twenty-eight years ago, we met the precocious Kevin McCallister in “Home Alone,” the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time. Now, Macaulay Culkin has reprised his role as the ever-resourceful Kevin in our new holiday film, “Home Alone Again with the Google Assistant.
Google Assistant released this ad yesterday with Kevin McCallister from the movie Home Alone. With Christmas around the corner, the ad is very timely since is the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time. As part of the release, Google also announced that for a limited time you can experience some of the most iconic moments in the movie with quotes from your favorite scenes:
Hey Google: “How much do I owe you?” and you’ll be reminded to “Keep the change, you filthy animal.”
Alexa loses her voice, Amazon Alexa ad making numbers
Amazon’s Superbowl advertisement for Alexa has been revealed as YouTube’s top most viewed advertisement of the year. The ad, who first aired January this year during the SuperBowl, stars actor Anthony Hopkins, rapper Cardi B, Australian actress Rebel Wilson and British chef Gordon Ramsay. If you haven’t seen it, catch it here.
2018 Alexa Developer Year in Review
Amazon team released this week the Alexa year in review. What a year! I can’t stop commending Amazon’s work on Alexa evangelism. Their strategic work in the assistant, as well as in tools and resources for developers by far outpaces any other company out there working in smart assistants. I said earlier this year that developer’s attention is the currency for platforms, and Amazon is doing the work to keep the top position in keeping Alexa devs attention.
2018 has been a big year for Alexa. Our mission is to have Alexa everywhere, and to help you, the developer community, build high-quality Alexa devices and engaging skills for customers.
The numbers:
  • 70,000 skills in the Alexa Skills Store
  • 28,000 Alexa-connected smart devices
  • 4,500 brands
The highlights:
  • Alexa is available in more languages and locations
  • Alexa has released new skill monetization opportunities for developers through prizes and In-Skill Purchasing.
  • More developer tools: Alexa Skill Management API (SMAPI) and ASK Command Line Interface (CLI), Python availability and the Alexa Presentation Language for multimodal skill development.
  • New tools and developer APIs to interact and create Alexa skills.
7 Voice Technology Predictions for 2019
RAIN Agency shared their voice tech predictions for 2019. The list including Siri’s leapfrog, (fingers crossed for that), more engagement and giving new voice to politicians and voters.
In the news
Quote of the week
A year that will be looked back as the one who put voice in the map.
Me
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Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly

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