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Smarter, Sharper, and People-Savvy: Why Amazon Lex is a Game-Changer

The brains behind Amazon’s Echo personal assistant service, Amazon Lex is now ready to transform how businesses operate chatbots

Smarter, Sharper, and People-Savvy: Why Amazon Lex is a Game-Changer

Amazon Connect ReviewAs companies across the board begin to deploy personal assistant chatbots, the toolbox necessary to build individualised and custom-made assistants, are now moving to the cloud, in a bid to help developers embed the technology in their products. Right at the top of the heap, is Amazon Lex, the speech recognition and natural language processing solution, that’s driving the company’s Alexa personal assistant, and also finds use in the Amazon Echo and Fire TV products.

Definitions and basic ideas

So what’s the story behind Amazon Lex?

To start with, Amazon Lex is a cloud-focused automatic speech recognition and natural language assimilation service, as mentioned. It is ready for integration with other cloud products, for the creation of virtual assistants, meant for specific tasks.

For businesses looking to automate regular transactional tasks or every day customer support schedules, the Amazon Lex is a good fit, easily becoming a critical element in their customised chatbot.

While having being in development since 2010, the Amazon Lex was made available as an API, from November, 2016.

Unboxing the Amazon Lex

For the layman, the Amazon Lex is simply the made-for-public-consumption version of the tech, powering Alexa’s natural language understanding (NLU) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) capabilities. Amazon Lex helps programs imbibe, assess, and process natural human language, ushering in varied and enriched interactions.

It can be used as part of a design template for chatbots, spanning a number of scenarios, such as application/transactional bots (consider, placing an order or making a reservation via a chatbot), customer support services, and as a control bot for Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

Currently, Amazon Lex is geared for collaboration with other Amazon Web Services (AWS) applications, or with Facebook Messenger. The company’s spoken about a future synergy with Slack.

Other players in the space

ChatbotIf you’re looking at possible competitors, Hewlett Packard has launched IDOL, offering personalised knowledge implementation capacities, along with natural language processing. Google, on the other hand, has a natural language processing API which is a strong alternative to the Amazon Lex, carrying multi-language support (Spanish, Japanese, and English).

Pricing and if it’s worth the spend

In line with most other AWS services, the Amazon Lex has been released on a ‘pay as you go’ model, based on usage patterns. Every voice request is billed at $0.004, and text requests are at $0.00075. In other words, 1,000 voice requests would amount to $4.00, and 1,000 text requests would hit $0.75.

Closing thoughts

In a dynamic business environment, most firms require easy-to-install and collaboration-friendly cloud-based apps and solutions. The Amazon Lex is an intelligent and trouble-free chatbot builder, equipped with the essentials (NLU & ASR). Over time, the company will add new upgrades and features, with expanded support/integration capabilities. This  will only enhance the product’s viability and all-round effectiveness.

Do you have any experience with Amazon Lex? let us know in the comments section below.


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