Inspiration

Idea: I was bored with the constant requests "come on talk to me in English" Task: So, go talk to Alexa! Challenge: Can we use Alexa for chatting about favorite topics?

What it does

It's conversation that helps you improve your English! The skill speaks with you about your favorite topics. This lesson is dedicated to favorite cities. You can start it by "It's time to talk", pick your favorite city, follow Alexa - talk about the city sights (in this sample about "churches"), answer the questions, etc.

How we built it

The journey: We've setup nvias.org meet-ups Program for creators - Talk to Alexa. First we've tried with the girls the sample skill and sample Lambda function "Color expert". WOW it's working! So we've started to write scripts about the favorite cities and their sights. We've built new Skills and Phyton Lambda function and we had a lot of fun while testing.

Challenges we ran into

Working with the session attributes - we didn't managed to store more session attributes. Also to keep the attributes was for next round of conversation was tricky. So we've implemented a workaround and simplified the conversation. Slot values are case sensitive and Alexa return some city names with 1st capital letter. Our English pronunciation was also challenge - but that was the purpose - Alexa has helped us to improve it :-). One more funny stuff we've run into - when you are mute Alexa will not answer a thing :-).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Alexa talks to us :-)

What we learned

Alexa skills, Lambda functions, Python and last but not least - we've improved our English pronunciation :-)

What's next for Time to talk - Talk to Alexa

We have to explore the new Alexa's Dialog Interface and To-do lists. We believe it will open new possibilities to control the conversation. We have to define better structure of the functions to be able to write the dialogues more easily. We will prepare more lessons and scripts ... This skill has a potential to open new market for Alexa - in non-English countries.

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