First things first, who is Alexa? Alexa is actually a ‘what’ because it is a cloud-based voice service by Amazon that does commands. These abilities of Alexa that follow different commands are called skills. Skills can be developed just like the way people develop skills. However, since Alexa is a gadget, skills are developed through programs.
Alexa skill development programs and higher knowledge can be achieved through using Alexa Skills Kit or Python. The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a cloud-based program by Amazon that lets you add skills to Alexa. To be able to do this, you first have to have an account on Amazon. After that, figure out which skills you want Alexa to have. This is an important step because higher knowledge is needed in this part.
Once you know what skill to develop, you can choose a custom skill in the web page and it will show you the draft of the code that will be fed to Alexa. Since this is a draft, you should specify the action that should be done once the utterances are said. Utterances are phrases that a user could say in order to activate the skill. These utterances also include the possible phrases different people can say that refer to a particular command. A tip here is to add as many variations as possible so that Alexa can perform the skill for a wide range of people.
In using the ASK, you should remember that there are different kinds of skills and for them to function they are tied to a cloud-based service that caters to them. For a custom skill that is able to handle any request, you should use the Amazon Web Service (AWS) with the Lambda function.
For a Smart Home skill, which is the skill that connects all your cloud-enabled home appliances, you will use the Smart Home Skill API. This service allows Alexa to be the adapter of the other appliances and it also feeds information to other cloud-based home appliances. For a skill that provides content, use the Content Skill API. The content skill is used if you will be asking Alexa about the news, dates, etc. After creating your code, it is time to test its correctness. The next step is to configure your code. This will check whether Alexa will respond to the utterances of the users.
Another program that helps you develop Alexa skills is Flask-Ask. Unlike the ASK, Flask-Ask is a program specifically made for creating skills for the Amazon Echo. Several other programs like boberdoo.com have emerged in the market today as cloud-based programs that create Alexa Skills.
But where does higher knowledge take place? Higher knowledge takes place when you make use of Alexa to further and reach business goals. For example, you run a small-scale bakery and you want to use Alexa to increase your business’ revenue. Higher knowledge comes in when you figure out which skills your Alexa should have in order to achieve higher revenues. If you want to keep track of orders, then you should create a skill that tracks orders through Alexa skill development program.