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March 17, 2017updated 20 Mar 2017 11:00am

Amazon offers free cloud credits to lure developers to Alexa

Developers with a published Alexa skill can apply to receive a $100 AWS promotional credit.

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon is now offering $100 promotional credits in order to attract skill developers for its voice-controlled assistant Alexa.

The company announced a new programme that will make it free for Alexa developers to build and host most of the AI’s skills using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Under the programme, any Amazon Alexa developers can apply to receive their AWS promotional credit at the company’s developer site.

If developers are approved for it, they will receive a $100 AWS promotional credit along with monthly $100 additional credits if they incur usage charges for their skill.

The existing AWS Free Tier provides one million AWS Lambda requests and up to 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) compute time per month at zero costs.

Amazon Alexa vice president Steve Rabuchin said: “There is already a large community of incredibly engaged developers building skills for Alexa.

“Today, we’re excited to announce a new program that will free up developers to create more robust and unique skills that can take advantage of AWS services. We can’t wait to see what developers create for Alexa.”

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The AI, which is the voice service that powers Echo, offers capabilities, or skills, that allow customers to interact with devices in a natural way using voice.

Amazon said tens of thousands of developers are already building skills for Alexa.

The company’s programme follows the increasing popularity of Hurricane Center, a skill of the AI that offers weather information.

This has been developed using AWS Lambda and has equipped the AI with a new way of delivering the latest weather and storm information.

Ryan Kroonenburg, a UK-based Solutions Architect and the founder of A Cloud Guru, a training community on AWS, introduced courses on creating the skills.

Technology consultant and Alexa skill developer Darian Johnson uses AWS Lambda and Amazon DynamoDB for his created skill, Virtual Librarian, which offers reading recommendations depending on bestseller lists, award nominations, and user reviews.

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