New Jersey Department of Transportation: NJDOT Announces Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant features for 511NJ Traveler Information Program . (This link is to a PDF file.) “- New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti today announced that NJDOT is the first department in the country to provide hands-free, real-time, statewide, traffic and traveler information using both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices.”
BetaNews: Amazon is getting free access to NHS medical data. “As fear mounts in the UK at the prospect of the NHS being sold in part or in whole to the US, the government has decided to give Amazon access to National Health Service data for free. The arrangement means that Amazon will be able to access ‘healthcare information, including … symptoms, causes, and definitions’. The tech giant will be able to use the data in conjunction with Alexa to enable users to get medical help and advice via the digital assistant.”
TechCrunch: Amazon launches medication management features for Alexa. “The feature will allow customers to set up their own medication reminders and request voice refills using their prescription information. At launch, these capabilities are only available to customers of Giant Eagle Pharmacy, a regional retailer in the Midwest and East Coast.”
WTHR: The Butterball hotline is back and it even has an Alexa Skill. “It’s a Thanksgiving tradition that has become as familiar and comforting as family and football. It’s the Butterball hotline, and it’s been keeping up with the technological times with advice on social media and even Amazon’s Alexa.”
VentureBeat: Amazon is poorly vetting Alexa’s user-submitted answers. “Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana can answer all sorts of questions that pop into users’ heads, and they’re improving every day. But what happens when a company like Amazon decides to crowdsource answers to fill gaps in its platform’s knowledge? The result can range from amusing and perplexing to concerning.” I really hope nobody is surprised by this.
BBC: Florida cops hope Alexa can solve bizarre spear murder case. “Florida police investigating the bizarre death of a woman during a domestic row have obtained audio from two Amazon Echo devices. Silvia Galva, 32, was impaled by a spear-tipped bed post in a struggle with her boyfriend, Adam Reechard Crespo, at their Hallandale Beach home.”