Amazon Alexa will tell Indian kids to 'eat right'

Amazon Alexa will tell Indian kids to 'eat right'



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Amazon Alexa will tell Indian kids to 'eat right'- The national food regulator has tied up with e-commerce giant Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa and is setting up ‘eat right’ labs in schools, looking to include children in the dialogue on healthy and safe eating. .Amazon voice-assistant Alexa currently speaks in more than 14 language variants.

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Indian food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has tied up with the internet giant Amazon to launch an ‘Eat Right’ quiz on Alexa Skill Store. This quiz is part of FSSAI’s Eat Right India campaign aimed to improve public health in India and negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases.

With this partnership, FSSAI is trying to capture the young Indian population who are regular users of Amazon’s voice-assistant Alexa. The food regulation body wants healthy eating habits to become a mainstream conversation among students and to achieve this they are now leveraging technologies like virtual and augmented reality, CEO of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India Pawan Agarwal told.

“A key constituent of the ‘eat right’ campaign is towards children and to address this audience, there are a number of interventions that are based on pulling in these young minds, rather than pushing out content,” he added.

The ‘Eat Right India’ campaign advocates for healthy eating habits such as reducing salt and sugar, taking a balanced diet, making time for physical activity, along with creating awareness about food adulteration, and safe food practices among other things.

Established by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, FSSAI is an autonomous body responsible for protecting and promoting public health through regulation and supervision of food safety.
The move comes after the Central government clamped down on junk foods in schools, banning the sale of packaged foods high in fat, salt and sugar in their canteens, messes, hostel kitchens or within 50 metres of their campuses.

 “We want this to become a mainstream conversation and we’re using technologies like virtual and augmented reality to bring in school and college students,” he said.

The ‘eat right’ campaign is linked with concepts such as setting hygiene parameters for street vendors and hygiene ratings for restaurants, hotels and cafeterias.


Amazon Alexa In India

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Amazon voice-assistant Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 languages. Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages. Alexa Skills are like apps that can be used to expand the functionality of the AI assistant

In 2018, Amazon claimed to double the number of daily users interacting with Alexa and Echo devices. Then in 2018, Amazon reported that it built more than 70K skills for Alexa, and got over 28K smart home devices compatible with the AI assistant, as compared to 4,500 brands at the beginning of that year.

In June 2019, talking at the Amazon’s re:MARS event, company’s head scientist and vice president for Alexa, Rohit Prasad said that the ecommerce major is working on accommodating regional language speaking capabilities in its AI voice assistant, to cater to the Indian market. According to Prasad, there were challenges in India that are not just in terms of learning the language but more about understanding the context.

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