Co-Directed by Alexa
Even in a world filled with high-def TV, streaming services, and cell phones, many kids still want one thing before they fall asleep: a bedtime story from mom or dad. If you have kids then you know the struggle of trying to generate characters and storylines out of thin air, especially when you’re running on fumes after a full 8-12 hour workday.
Luckily, parents that need a little creative boost when whipping up bedtime stories for their kids can now lean on their Amazon Alexa for support.
The feature “Create with Alexa” uses advanced conversational and generative artificial intelligence to help you and your kids come up with unique stories. Each story comes with a plot or arc of some sort, background music, and graphics that come to life on the Echo Show screen.
Finding the Creative Spark
Alexa’s AI makes the process of creating stories incredibly simple. To get started, just say “Alexa, make a story”. Alexa will then ask you a few questions regarding what the story should be about and she’ll take it from there!
This feature allows Alexa to create stories based on your child’s likes and dislikes with common story themes including things like dinosaurs, princesses, or your child’s favorite stuffed animal. You can also pick the environment for the story like outer space or an enchanted forest. Finally, you can tell Alexa the adjectives that you want the story to be such as silly, happy, or mysterious.
If you have a teenager who might go a little overboard when thinking of creative adjectives, don’t worry. “Create with Alexa” was built with multiple guardrails in place to ensure that certain content is filtered out so that each story is entertaining and fun, but kid-friendly.
Additionally, Alexa’s AI can enhance each story scene with illustrations, background music, and sound effects. Keep in mind that these aren’t pre-loaded stories that Alexa is just regurgitating. Her artificial intelligence ensures that no two stories are the same.
Where This Idea Came From
The idea for this feature came when Eshan Bhatnagar, Amazon’s Head of Product for Alexa AI, found himself struggling to come up with bedtime stories for his 6-year-old son.
In typical Amazon fashion, the Alexa team started by coming up with the ideal consumer experience for reading bedtime stories. Then, they worked backward to create it. Over time, as Alexa’s voice recognition and graphic capabilities improve, so should the quality of her bedtime stories.
“Create with Alexa” is really just the beginning of artificial intelligence and creativity mixing together. Who knows? 10 years from now, Alexa might be able to create Oscar-worthy movies based on nothing more than a little guidance from your kids.