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Nuance Nina
(YouTube screen grab / Nuance Enterprise)

Thanks, Alexa, you’ve been a big help, but we’ve got some questions for Nina now. The enterprise virtual assistant from Nuance Communications is coming to Amazon’s voice-integrated devices as a skill, allowing consumers to better connect with banks, airlines, retail brands and more without needing to pick up a phone.

Nuance, the Burlington, Mass.-based speech recognition and natural language technology company with offices in Seattle, announced this week that Nina, introduced in 2012 as the first intelligent virtual assistant for customer service, has evolved into a powerful engagement platform that is ready to take on the internet of things.

“It’s truly amazing to think about the expanding channels through which consumers can engage with a brand for service,” Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of Nuance’s enterprise division, said in a news release. “With Nina, we’re able to provide enterprises with the ability to design a VA once, then deploy it across the channels on which their customers choose to engage, securely and affordably. Nina for Amazon Alexa is the first example where Nina enables engagement through IoT devices, and the first example where two virtual assistants — Nuance Nina and Amazon Alexa — work together to deliver a superior customer experience.”

TechRepublic reported that Nina will not show up as a separate Alexa skill, but rather enable individual customer skills. Nina would power the backend of, say, something like the Domino’s skill, to help consumers order and track a pizza.

The video below shows how Nina for Alexa would help with travel arrangements through an airline:


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