CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Alexa can now express disappointment in you, just like Mom

Amazon is kicking off more emotive speech for its voice assistant, giving it disappointed and excited intonations.

David Priest Former editor
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
David Priest
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Amazon Echo smart speakers could start exhibiting more emotion based on the kinds of conversations you have with Alexa . An announcement from Amazon says excited and disappointed intonations are available now for developers to use in Alexa skills. That means your voice assistant could start sounding much more naturally emotive.

Amazon has been working for some time now on more natural intonation for Alexa -- and more sensitivity to users' emotions. Whispering and a newscaster speaking style have both been added to Alexa's vocal repertoire in the past two years, and it seems Amazon is continuing its effort to specialize Alexa's voice. Not only can developers use an Australian version of the newscaster voice, but a new topic-specific speaking style for music is also being launched.

Check out Alexa's new excited and disappointed intonations below:

These speaking tones sound pretty good, based on the samples Amazon has provided. But for now, they seem most useful for developers looking for specific tones in a specific context -- say, when you win a game or answer a trivia question incorrectly.

Whether these tones will be able to be fluidly applied when Alexa senses various emotional states from users remains to be seen, but that possibility seems to be edging closer every day.

Watch this: Amazon Echo Show 8 review: Alexa is getting even better

CNET editors' 2019 holiday picks

See all photos