Practical Hands-on Guide for Alexa Skill Development (2022)
What you'll learn
- Build Alexa Custom Skills to augment Amazon Echo's Strengths, with superior understanding of the core fundamentals
- Deconstruct an Alexa Skill, and get clarity on what are Intents, Slots, and Utterances
- Use Nodejs 14.x and asynchronous requests with promises, await & async functions with Alexa Skills Kit SDK v2 (ask-sdk-core)
- Be more than just an Alexa Skill Developer - get the "Meta" understanding of how the pieces fit together - and be technology agnostic
- Create "visual" Voice Interaction Models for Advanced Voice User / Conversational Interfaces
- Try out Amazon Polly with SSML as well as Chatbots through Amazon Lex
- Introduce errors, and Test Alexa Skills through 3 different modes including Alexa Simulator, Alexa App & Amazon Echo Devices
- Setup Security through Amazon's IAM (Identity and Access Management)
- Program in Amazon Lambda (Serverless Computing)
- Use Amazon S3's Storage API
- Use Google Maps Directions API for getting Real-time Traffic Information
- Monitor performance and debug errors through Amazon CloudWatch
- It will be good to have an Amazon Echo device as it will help in faster testing. Otherwise you can use the web baesd Alexa Simulator.
~~ Jan 2022 Update • Start the year right! ~~
There's a new section, "TL;DR - Diving in & creating one skill", that will help you get started with Skill Building using the latest Amazon Alexa Developer Console interface. You will build a "Zodiac Finder" skill that will help you learn several voice interaction concepts - such as Invocation Name, Intents & Slots (both Built-in & Custom), Slot Values, Interaction Model, Skill Logic, Debugging, Setting Lambda Endpoints, and using Multiple Languages. Finally, you will test the skill on the browser-based Alexa Simulator, the Alexa App and an Amazon Echo device.
Get Meta & Practical Knowledge on Building Voice Interfaces (VUIs) / Conversational Interfaces
Suitable for Beginners & Power Users
Get an understanding of Lambda, Lex, Polly, S3 & more
Utilize Alexa Skills Kit v2 using Node.js 10.x
Build an Introductory Skill (for Reading out Quotes)
Create an Advanced Skill using Third Party APIs (Google Maps)
Get the fundamental understanding of how all pieces fit together and how a Virtual Personal Assistant works
Why this course?
There is a shift happening in the way we as a species communicate with machines. With the advent of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Microsoft Cortana, the focus on Voice User Interfaces or Voice Activated Conversational Interfaces is rapidly increasing.
This ever changing world presents a threat to the way we operate, especially when we do not understand it. A more AI aware world might be years away, but if we learn how to talk to and control the machines then we grow collectively.
The "Real" Goal for this course
Yes, Amazon Alexa and similar voice activated interfaces look and sound pretty cool. You can use the extensive documentation available with each interface to build out the skills.
However, just learning the syntax of a particular system is not enough. To mature as an individual, you need to gain the foundational skills on how these interfaces operate, and be technology agnostic when it comes to building these conversational interfaces.
The real goal of this course is to get you competent enough to understand the complexities that go behind designing and creating the voice user interfaces, so that you can immediately assess how different pieces of the puzzle fit together.
Practical Implementation of the Real Goal
No matter how much of the fundamental knowledge you have, if you are unable to put it to practice, then usually it is of no real value.
This course not only focuses on getting you ahead of others in understanding how a voice user interface works, but helps you build your very own uber cool personal assistant using Amazon Alexa, that can do what you can make it do.
Building a personal assistant using Alexa Custom Skills is just one of the techniques, and you will learn very soon that you can design a variety of interfaces through the knowledge that you gain.
Amazon has always been ahead of the game in terms of building voice interfaces, and you will be able to understand how you can leverage what Amazon has to offer to get you to communicate with machines effectively.
What will you learn?
By using Amazon Alexa, and building a Voice Activated Personal Assistant, you will gain the following:
Understand what is Amazon Alexa and its ecosystem
What are Voice Interaction Models, and how they can help you build a better and reliable voice interface
Know the technologies that work behind a voice activated interface
Use Amazon Services such as Lambda, S3, CloudWatch, & IAM and how they interact with each other
Deconstruct an Alexa Skill, and get clarity on what are Intents, Slots, and Utterances
Develop with Node.js 10.x and Alexa Skills Kit SDK v2 to build a personal assistant that responds to your queries
Connect with Third Party APIs and process information, use asynchronous requests, promises, and await expressions in async functions
Maintain data persistence within an Active Alexa Session
Introduce errors, and Test Alexa Skills through 4 different modes including simulators and physical devices
Leverage the Amazon Web Services to build a Consistently Reliable Architecture
You will get a complete checklist on what all you will be achieving, with code that is available on GitHub for easy access. The lectures will have links, files, and diagrams attached to them wherever relevant.
Even if you do not have the knowledge of Node.js, you will be able to fundamentally understand how you can build custom skills, and implement it in your own preferred language.
The sooner you get into building the voice interfaces, the faster you will be able to mould the machines to your liking.
Enroll Now, and begin to shape the brand new voice activated world!
Who this course is for:
- Developers who would like to build and deploy Alexa Skills, and also get the "Meta" knowledge of how things work
- Project Managers who need to know the building blocks of a Voice User Interface as well as an Alexa Skill, and how things fit together
- Marketers who can leverage Voice User Interfaces to build superior experiences for their customers
- Power Users who are interested in extending their Amazon Echo's capabilities, based on one's specific needs.
- Curious Humans who would like to see Artificially Intelligent Systems that are shaping our world today
- Anyone who would like to get fundamental knowledge on building next generation Conversational / Voice User Interfaces
- Anyone who got inspired by J.A.R.V.I.S in Iron Man, and aspires to replicate it! :)
I have spent almost two decades building software applications and doing infrastructure management. Understanding both software and hardware has given me a leverage over creating solutions that talk nicely to each other and are automated and reliable.
I have always been fascinated about Artificial Intelligence, and in early 2000s, inspired by a chatterbot called A.L.I.C.E, I built a voice activated bot called LISA which could do some basic tasks like checking weather or arithmetic calculations.
Now, the technology landscape has changed exponentially, and I believe that we are moving into a very new and nascent artificial intelligence aware world. Building systems and having meta skills to build interfaces that can interact with machines will help us collectively mature as species.
I am pretty excited about the change taking shape, and sharing information through courses is my way of contributing back on what I learnt. I hope you get value out of the courses I provide, and you gain much more fundamentally to build superior systems.