It can’t get any easier to interact with smart devices. But where technology ends, morality starts. Several users complained that talking with Alexa is promoting rudeness among children. They wanted a more polite conversation. And so, Amazon complied.
Alexa can now respond with “you’re welcome” and similar answers if we talk with her politely and finish with “thank you.” In fact, it might throw in some extra comments to show her appreciation. All this is included in the Follow-Up Mode update by Amazon.
What is the Follow-Up Mode?
Earlier, Alexa would only listen to commands if the user spoke the wake word. Now, Amazon has introduced a new feature called Follow-Up Mode that enables users to interact with Alexa without repeating the wake word. She waits for a few seconds to hear another command before dozing off for another time.
Without turning the Follow-Up mode on, Alexa won’t hear you say “thank you.” And obviously, she won’t respond either. But with this mode, Alexa will reply to your thanks with “you’re welcome,” “you bet,” “no problem,” or any other acknowledging phrases.
Also, if you add a “please” to your command, Alexa might thank you for asking so politely. Currently, there is no other way to make Alexa follow commands in a row. The Follow-Up mode is not available by default; users will have to turn it on to use it.
Enabling Follow-Up Mode
To turn the Follow-Up mode on, you have to follow a few easy steps:
- Open the Alexa app on your device.
- Choose Devices.
- Tap Echo & Alexa, then select the device you want to enable Follow-up mode for.
- Then, select Device Settings.
- Scroll down and tap Follow-Up Mode.
- Toggle to turn on.
- Repeat the steps for each device.
Follow-Up Mode vs. Routines
While the Follow-Up Mode may be a newer feature, Amazon had already introduced Routines to its Alexa devices. Like Follow-Up, Routine commands do not require a wake word. But there is a significant difference between the two.
Routines are pre-programmed commands that the users set up for various situations. Alexa will turn off the bedroom lights if you prompt it with “Alexa, goodnight.” It will do so if you have created a night Routine and set up the trigger word. Similarly, you can add multiple functions and commands under every Routine.
On the other hand, the Follow-Up Mode will give you pre-installed answers. You can do little to change them. More specifically, this mode was designed to give the interaction a more human feel.
Concluding my thoughts on Alexa saying, “you’re welcome.”
Conversing with Alexa is fun for everyday use. You just have to say a command, and Alexa will comply with all her might. But to get gratitude and acknowledgment in reply is a cherry on top. With the advancement in artificial intelligence, it won’t be long before we cannot tell the difference between humans and machines.