Mingis on Tech: 'Alexa, what's in the news?'

Amazon's digital assistant seems to be everywhere these days, from home to office

Alexa, Amazon's increasingly ubiquitous voice-activated digital assistant, isn't just a fun toy for the home; it seems to be learning new "skills" rather quickly, even in the workplace.

Among those skills, and one we're quite taken with, is the ability to deliver Computerworld's top tech news in its Flash Briefings -- a new talent made possible by Sharon Machlis, executive editor for data analytics and online. (A Flash Briefing, for the uninitiated, is a customized news audio report; you pick and choose the news sources you want to hear and Alexa does the rest.)

Machlis joins Executive News Editor Ken Mingis and Alexa herself -- itself? -- for this week's show to find more about what the digital assistant can do, how to set up skills yourself and how you can customize your flash briefings.

Underlying the conversation is just why this technology seems to be gaining popularity so quickly. Heck even Ford Motor Co. wants in on the Alexa action, and plans to bring it to future vehicles.

amazon echo dot

Echo Dot

So if you have an Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap or some other Alexa-enabled device, you'll find out how to get more out of Alexa. And if you don't have any Alexa hardware yet, you just might want it after hearing all she can do.

(Machlis, who has several Alexa devices at home, is planning to check out Google Home, as well. So if you're a Google Home fan, stay tuned.)

For an audio podcast only, click play (or catch up on all episodes) below.

Happy listening, and please, send feedback or suggestions for future topics to us. We'd love to hear from you.

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Ken Mingis

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