Chapter 8

Adding Skills to Alexa


Bullet Learning about skills

Bullet Telling Alexa to use a skill

Bullet Managing your skill set

Bullet Checking out a few skills to get you started

Bullet Constructing your very own skill

The Alexa you interact with on your Echo or other Alexa-enhanced device, or on your mobile device via the Alexa app, is jaw-droppingly good technology. Sure, once in a while Alexa misinterprets one of your voice commands or tells you that “I can’t find X” when you know for a fact that X exists, but these are mere quibbles. Even if you’re skeptical about artificial intelligence in general, and wary of inviting a “listening device” into your home in particular, you have to admit that Alexa is awfully impressive.

But that impressiveness is just out-of-the-box Alexa. Amazingly, you can make Alexa even better by bolting on extra features. These “skills,” as Amazon calls them, enhance Alexa with new capabilities, such as playing games, teaching you new things, and controlling home-automation ...

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