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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Alexa Cured My Daughter's Speech Impediment

• by Isaac M. Morehouse

Her name is Alexa, and she lives in a small black cylinder on our kitchen island.

We tried helping our daughter with her speech to no avail for quite a while, but Alexa got fast results. She didn't do any mouth exercises or anything resembling speech practice. Instead, she played music. Any song you request, she can find and play.

My daughter loves to listen and dance, so she excitedly made requests of Alexa. But unless pronounced correctly, Alexa couldn't understand and the song wouldn't be played. Worse, she might play some other song nothing like the one requested.

My daughter was frustrated by her inability to get what she wanted, but rather than get embarrassed or resign herself to failure as she did when we'd try to help her with pronunciation, she just kept trying until she got it. She'd sometimes slow down, try forming the titles with different mouth movements, and in the process realize the key to tricky words.

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