At AWS, our mission is to enable developers and businesses with no prior machine learning (ML) expertise to easily build sophisticated, scalable, ML-powered applications with our AI services. Today, we’re excited to announce that Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly are expanding language support. You can build ML-powered applications that fit the language preferences of your users. These easy-to-use services allow you to add intelligence to your business processes, automate workstreams, reduce costs, and improve the user experience for your customers and employees in a variety of languages.
New and improved features
Amazon Lex is a service for building conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text. Amazon Lex now supports French, Spanish, Italian and Canadian French. With the addition of these new languages, you can build and expand your conversational experiences to better understand and engage your customer base in a variety of different languages and accents. Amazon Lex can be applied to a diverse set of use cases such as virtual agents, conversational IVR systems, self-service chatbots, or application bots. For a full list of languages, please go to Amazon Lex languages.
Amazon Polly, a service that turns text into lifelike speech offers voices for all Amazon Lex languages. Our first Australian English voice, Olivia, is now generally available in Neural Text-to-Speech (NTTS). Olivia’s unique vocal personality and voice sounds expressive, natural and is easy to follow. You can now choose among three Australian English voices: Russell, Nicole and Olivia. For a full list of Amazon Polly’s voices, please go to Amazon Polly voices.
“Growing demand for conversational experiences led us to launch Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly to enable businesses to connect with their customers more effectively,” shares Julien Simon, AWS AIML evangelist.
“Amazon Lex uses automatic speech recognition and natural language understanding to help organizations understand a customer’s intent, fluidly manage conversations and create highly engaging and lifelike interactions. We are delighted to advance the language capabilities of Lex and Polly. These launches allow our customers to take advantage of AI in the area of conversational interfaces and voice AI,” Simon says.
“Amazon Lex is a core AWS service that enables Accenture to deliver next-generation, omnichannel contact center solutions, such as our Advanced Customer Engagement (ACE+) platform, to a diverse set of customers. The addition of French, Italian, and Spanish to Amazon Lex will further enhance the accessibility of our global customer engagement solutions, while also vastly enriching and personalizing the overall experience for people whose primary language is not English. Now, we can quickly build interactive digital solutions based on Amazon’s deep learning expertise to deflect more calls, reduce contact center costs and drive a better customer experience in French, Italian, and Spanish-speaking markets. Amazon Lex can now improve customer satisfaction and localized brand awareness even more effectively,” says J.C. Novoa, Global Technical Evangelist – Advanced Customer Engagement (ACE+) for Accenture.
Another example is Clevy, a French start-up and AWS customer. François Falala-Sechet, the CTO of Clevy adds, “At Clevy, we have been utilizing Amazon Lex’s best-in-class natural language processing services to help bring customers a scalable low-code approach to designing, developing, deploying and maintaining rich conversational experiences with more powerful and more integrated chatbots. With the addition of Spanish, Italian and French in Amazon Lex, Clevy can now help our developers deliver chatbot experiences to a more diverse audience in our core European markets.”
Eudata helps customers implement effective contact and management systems. Andrea Grompone, the Head of Contact Center Delivery at Eudata says, “Ora Amazon Lex parla in italiano! We are excited about the new opportunities this opens for Eudata. Amazon Lex simplifies the process of creating automated dialog-based interactions to address challenges we see in the market. The addition of Italian allows us to build a customer experience that ensures both service speed and quality in our markets.”
Using the new features
To use the new Amazon Lex languages, simply choose the language when creating a new bot via the Amazon Lex console or AWS SDK. The following screenshot shows the console view.
To learn more, visit the Amazon Lex Development Guide.
You can use new Olivia voice in the Amazon Polly console, the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), or AWS SDK. The feature is available across all AWS Regions supporting NTTS. For the full list of available voices, see Voices in Amazon Polly, or log in to the Amazon Polly console to try it out for yourself.
Use Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly to build more self-service bots, to voice-enable applications, and to create an integrated voice and text experience for your customers and employees in a variety of languages. Try them out for yourself!
About the Author
Esther Lee is a Product Manager for AWS Language AI Services. She is passionate about the intersection of technology and education. Out of the office, Esther enjoys long walks along the beach, dinners with friends and friendly rounds of Mahjong.