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Chris Monroe/CNET

The digital assistant I’ve at all times referred to as Alexa has a new name — Ziggy — and a new, characteristically masculine-sounding voice, too. You’re free to combine — and remix — these choices nonetheless you need, since there are separate settings for voice and wake phrase (and one is not linked to the opposite).

This is not the primary time you have had choices — Alexa already had different, er, “names” (for those who can name them that). You can already set your Echo gadget to reply to “Amazon,” “Echo,” or “Computer” in addition to “Alexa.”

But “Ziggy” is the primary name name to seem as an possibility moreover “Alexa.” Although some have recommended “Ziggy” indicators a “masculine” name, I’m not so certain. For me, it is evocative of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona — an alien androgyne from the long run, despatched to assist Earth. Coincidence? But I digress…

Regardless, although the AI that powers Amazon Echo sensible audio system is understood colloquially as Alexa — and the voice that has up till now embodied these audio system sounds characteristically female — for those who ask, Alexa will let you know: “As an AI, I don’t have a gender.”

Of course, the three superstar voice choices you possibly can pay to put on your Amazon Echo gadget — Samuel L. Jackson, Melissa McCarthy and Shaquille O’Neal — are all gendered. But these add-ons do not change all the things Alexa says — simply a few choose responses, like climate, timers and a few extra.

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Amazon’s voice assistant lives on all kinds of Echo sensible audio system, shows and even ear buds.


David Carnoy/CNET

How to change your Echo’s wake phrase to ‘Ziggy’

The “wake word” is the name you say out loud to summon Amazon’s digital voice assistant. The steps are the identical whether or not you need to change it to “Ziggy” or any of the opposite choices. There’s the straightforward manner — say, “Alexa [or whatever your current wake word is], change your wake word” and then reply to one of many decisions Alexa offers you. Then there’s the exhausting manner:

  1. Open the Alexa app, then faucet Devices on the underside menu bar, faucet Echo & Alexa on the prime, then faucet the name of the gadget whose wake phrase you need to change.
  2. Tap the Settings (gear) icon within the higher proper nook, then scroll down and faucet Wake Word, then faucet the one you would like to use.
  3. A popup will warn you it might take a jiffy to take impact — faucet OK.

How to change your Echo’s voice (to work with any wake phrase)

Just like with wake phrase, there’s a simple manner — “Alexa, change your voice.” Your Echo gadget will affirm utilizing the new voice. If altering to the masculine-sounding voice, you may be instructed how to change the wake phrase as effectively. Then there’s the exhausting manner:

  1. Repeat steps 1 and 2 from above, however as a substitute of Wake Word, faucet Alexa’s Voice.
  2. Choose between Original (feminine-sounding) and New (masculine-sounding), then merely again out of that setting.

There you might have it — you continue to do not have a lot of choices (Google Home, for instance, has a number of voices to select from, though just one doable wake phrase), however you have received extra now than ever earlier than.

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