Action News Now is now available on Amazon Echo devices

A pair of Amazon Echo multimedia smart speakers taken

This isn't enabling compound requests, so you won't be able to ask Alexa to set your nightly alarm and lock your front door all in one request, but you'll at least be able to cut down slightly on the time and number of words necessary for those multiple actions.

CNET says that the follow-up mode setting is opt-in and is available for all device in the Echo lineup, as well as some third-party Echo devices. If you have something else for her to do, ask without saying her name again first. Amazon says Alexa will only respond to a follow-up commands if she's "confident" that it is a legitimate request and not just background noise. It is often annoying while using digital assistants that you have to speak a particular "wake" word after every request, such as "Hey Siri" in the HomePod, "Ok Google" in Google Home, or "Alexa" in Amazon speakers.

Amazon has announced a new feature for its Alexa digital voice assistant called 'Follow-Up Mode.' This feature, however, is not available in Canada.

Once that's complete, say "Alexa, what's my flash briefings?" and Alexa will give you an update on the leading stories of the day.

On paper, follow-up mode sounds useful enough.

Meghan Markle gives a hug to Worcester schoolgirl
She also hugged Alice Thompson, the co-founder of a charity called Social Bite , on a visit to Scotland. The couple were greeted by students and other well-wishers, including pets.

The new feature works because Alexa now continues to listen five seconds after a command, indicated by the blue ring on the hardware staying lit. Once there, select the specific device, and then tap on the Follow-Up Mode toggle to turn it on.

The company did not provide any further details, including whether it has any insight into what is causing the Echo devices to laugh spontaneously. The blue light will go out as usual to show that Alexa is no longer listening.

Amazon told AFP it looked into what was going on and found that sometimes Alexa mistakenly registers the phrase "Alexa laugh" and obeys.

The feature is now only available in US English in the US.

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