Imagine my surprise this morning when I looked at my To Do list and saw, “do a review on grimm kermit call marilee”. I stared at the screen for a good 20 seconds hoping something would pop to mind. I was stumped. Fortunately, I could tell the task had been placed the day before by Alexa. Now, the question was how to figure out what Alexa voice recognition heard. It was time to go to the source.
On the whole, I’m a fan of Amazon’s Echo products and own several. One feature I appreciate is the ability to have Alexa add items to Todoist. Every now and then something doesn’t translate well, but I can figure it out.
Sometimes it has to do with background noise and whether I was facing the speaker. Evidently, while cooking last night I gave her a command that was indecipherable. The good news is Todoist identifies the source  and time  on the task list.
Now, I just needed to find and replay the voice utterance. You can do this through the Alexa App on your phone. However, I find it easier to use the web application. That’s the closest thing to having the Alexa app on my PC. Besides, I could put my headphones on and hear her better.
How to Find Your Alexa Voice Recordings
While I call these “recordings”, Amazon refers to them as “voice interactions with Alexa”.
- Open your web browser and go to https://alexa.amazon.com.
- From the left menu, select Settings.
- Scroll down to the Alexa Account section.
- Select History.
- Scroll down the History panel till you find your item. In my case, this started with me adding the task.
- Click the selected item. You can see the dialog between us.
- To hear the recording, click the play button.
In the dialog above, you can see I spoke two commands as did she. I’ll chalk this miscue to the background kitchen noise. I did laugh when I heard what I actually said as I stumbled a bit. In this case, the Alexa voice recognition wasn’t perfect, but neither was I.
Providing Feedback on Voice Recordings
According to the Alexa documentation, the service should get better with time. One way to help is to tell Alexa if she did what you wanted. Below most recordings, you will see a question that asks, “Did Alexa do what you wanted?“.
This question doesn’t show on all utterances. If you look back at my task command dialog, I didn’t have this Did Alexa do what you wanted? option. Instead, I opted to delete the recording using the Delete voice recordings link at the bottom of each recording panel. You can see an example above.
How to Delete Alexa History
If Alexa continually misunderstands you, you might consider deleting all your recordings instead of individual ones. This is effectively retraining Alexa’s voice recognition. The help documentation does mention that it may degrade your Alexa experience. I’d probably be inclined to call support first in case the device is defective.
- Open your browser and go to https://www.amazon.com/mycd. You may need to log in.
- Click the Your Devices tab.
- Click the square gray button to the left of your device. It will have 3 horizontal dots.
- Click Manage voice recordings.
- Click Delete.
At the end of the day. I’m happy with my Alexa devices. There are times when I encounter hiccoughs such as this one. Overall, I find them very useful, especially in the kitchen. I like to use Alexa to play podcasts. And every now and then, I’ll throw a “to do” her way.
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