Hashtag Trending – Emotional Alexa; Google pays tribute to Scarborough; Irish government’s big printer mess

If you’re feeling down for messing up at work yesterday, then hopefully you’ll find comfort in our third story. In this episode of Hashtag Trending, we have Amazon injecting emotions into Alexa, Google apologizing for misrepresenting Scarborough, and the Irish Government’s printer woes.

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Thank you for tuning in, it’s Thursday, November 28th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Trending on Google, Amazon Alexa is about to sound a lot more human. An Amazon blog post yesterday revealed that Alexa is about to add emotions to its voice. For example, Alexa could sound excited when the user wins a trivia game or sound disappointed when a sports team loses. Both the excitement and disappointment responses have three varying degrees ranging from high to low intensity. According to the blog post, the new style sounded 31 per cent more natural than Alexa’s standard voice.

Trending on Reddit, Google took it to Twitter to apologize for showing an unflattering image to represent Scarborough, a major area in Toronto. A few days ago, when users typed in “Scarborough” into Google search, Google would pair a picture of a destroyed house next to the description of the area. This invoked dismay in several Toronto residents, including Toronto Mayor John Tory. Today, Google posted seven Tweets, each paying tribute to a unique point of interest in Scarborough.

Imagine buying a printer too big to fit in your office; now imagine that printer being 800,000 euros and you’re the Irish government. Trending on Reddit, not only did the expensive printer not fit in the Irish government’s Oireachtas office, it had to be stored away for 2000 euros a month for 10 months. When it was finally installed after the office’s reconstruction, the staff refused to be trained on using it until they’ve received a pay raise. Komori, the manufacturer of the printer, rejected a return request as the contract had already been signed. What the printer is currently doing is a mystery.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Tom Li, thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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