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05 July, Wed
Amazon’s Alexa passes 15,000 skills, up from 10,000 in February

Amazon’s Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills — the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. The figure is up from the 10,000 skills Amazon officially announced back in February, which had then represented a 3x increase from September.

The new 15,000 figure was first reported via third-party analysis from Voicebot, and Amazon has now confirmed to TechCrunch that the number is accurate.

According to Voicebot, which only analyzed skills in the U.S., the milestone was reached for the first time on June 30, 2017. During the month of June, new skill introductions increased by 23 percent, up from the less than 10 percent growth that was seen in each of the prior three months.

The milestone also represents a more than doubling of the number of skills that were available at the beginning of the year, when Voicebot reported there were then 7,000 skills. That number was officially confirmed by Amazon at CES.



Voicebot also noted that Flash Briefings are still one of the most popular categories of skills, in terms of those that are live on the Alexa Skill Store today. These news and information-focused voice apps include those from major media publications like The Wall St. Journal, NPR, Washington Post (ahemTechCrunch), and others.

Because they’re one of the easiest skills to develop, Flash Briefings have grown to account for around 20 percent of the available skills. You can see this figure for yourself here on the Alexa Skills store, which indicates there are 2,891 “news” skills live now.

The number of available skills is an important metric for tracking Amazon’s success in the voice computing space.


Amazon is currently the leader in voice-powered devices, where it’s expected to control 70 percent of the market this year — well ahead of Google Home, Lenovo, LG and others. If anything, its success played a role in Apple releasing its own Siri-powered device, the HomePod. Apple’s entrant aims to capture a portion of the market by attracting those who care more about the speaker’s quality than the virtual assistant that ships with it. But one thing Apple is not talking about –– yet — is whether third-party developers will be able to create HomePod-compatible apps.

In the meantime, Amazon’s Alexa is surging ahead, building out an entire voice app ecosystem so quickly that it hasn’t even been able to implement the usual safeguards — like a team that closely inspects apps for terms of service violations, for example, or even tools that allow developers to make money from their creations. (For now, Amazon is simply handing out cash rewards to those building popular game skills — a category it sees has some early traction.)

In the long run, Amazon’s focus on growth over app ecosystem infrastructure could catch up with it. But for now, its Alexa platform is much further ahead than its nearest competitor. Though Google Home saw a spike from holiday sales, it’s the Echo Dot that’s being adopted in droves thanks to its lower price point.

In addition, Google Home has just 378 voice apps available as of June 30, Voicebot notes. Microsoft’s Cortana has only 65.

While there’s been some criticism that many of Amazon’s skills are low-quality, there’s also something to be said for being able to build out an app store’s long tail. Maybe not all the skills are as useful as getting your daily dose of NPR or being able to order an Uber by voice, but having more than 15,000 to choose from means you have a better shot at finding one that will suit your needs.

November 2019
25 November, Monday
Global Venture Alliance – Accelerator-3.0

Our CEO Zamir Shukhov's interview with the SME Innovator magazine about the GVA methodology, acceleration 3.0 and the future of entrepreneurship in Russia.

March 2018
05 March, Monday
GVA became TOP CHALLENGER of the recent UBI Global World rankings

GVA is recognized as the TOP CHALLENGER according to the UBI Global World rankings of University-linked Business Incubators and Accelerators.

February 2018
28 February, Wednesday
How Russian Consumer Companies Cooperate with Start-ups

The article on Vedomosti on  cooperation between corporations and start-ups. Among examples, there are three GVA's accelerators: Mega Accelerator, PepsiCo LAB and Faberlic FMCG Accelerator.

05 February, Monday
WSJ: “Nasdaq-listed Yandex is Russia’s Uber and Google combined”

“Stock investors can’t invest in Uber, but they can invest in Nasdaq-listed Yandex, owner of Russia’s top ride-hailing platform,” writes WSJ reporter Stephen Wilmot, referring to the Yandex.Taxi platform.

02 February, Friday
The acceleration program StrartUp Kazakhstan has been launched

The first face-to-face event in the framework of the StartUp Kazakhstan – program orientation took place in innovation cluster of Tech Garden in Almaty on February 1-2. On the first day General Director of the Autonomous cluster Fund "PIT" (Tech Garden) Sanzhar Kettebekov and CEO of Global Venture Alliance Zamir Shukhov addressed to the participants with the introductory speech. 

02 February, Friday
“Startup Innovation and investment in Emerging Europe:” A groundbreaking research released by East-West Digital News

How do the local startup scenes look like in Estonia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine — but also in less known countries, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, to Moldova, to Georgia? How much do VCs invest these countries? Are corporations involved in these emerging ecosystems? Which are the most well-funded startups, and which younger ones should be followed? Why do so many ICOs come from Eastern Europe?

01 February, Thursday
2 acquisitions and 1 ICO: the Russian eSports market is heating up

The beginning of this year saw major moves on the Russian eSports scene, a sizable European market with established players operating globally. Thus, last week Mail.Ru Group — an LSE-listed Internet company which controls the largest Russian-language social networks and a range of online gaming companies — announced the full acquisition of ESforce.

January 2018
22 January, Monday
New report by GVA’s partner Pavel Luksha “Skills of the Future: How to Thrive in the Complex New World”

GVA’s partner Pavel Luksha, founder Global Education Futures and professor at Moscow School of Management, has a new report out on what graduates should know and be able to do. “Skills of the Future: How to Thrive in the Complex New World” was developed with WorldSkills Russia during sessions of the Atlas of Emerging Jobs project. The report is a thoughtful review of global trends, changes in work and concludes with implications for education. Not a continuation of the present, the authors “believe that mankind should take a serious approach towards the formation of a desired image of the future.”


22 January, Monday
The Fund for the Digitalization of Industry will be launched in Kazakhstan

On January 22 during the official visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev to the USA the autonomous cluster fund Tech Garden signed a number of important agreements with American companies on the digitization of the economy of Kazakhstan.

November 2017
09 November, Thursday
THE PROCESS OF UPDATING THE WORLD SYSTEM OF EDUCATION WAS DISCUSSED IN RUSSIA

At the international GELP Moscow 2017 Summit, which was held in Moscow on 1st to 3rd of November, leaders of Russian and foreign education from 12 states outlined practical steps for systematical change of the global educational environment, taking into account the existing global challenges of civilization.

October 2017
30 October, Monday
Global Venture Alliance & Forbes Russia in a closed round table discussion

Global Venture Alliance took part in a closed round table session organized by Forbes Russia.

27 October, Friday
In Moscow for the first time the international educational Summit Global Education Leaders` Partnership will take place

The authoritative international alliance Global Education Leaders` Partnership (GELP), which influences the development of school education abroad, for the first time, chose Russia as a meeting point for leaders and experts of the world educational community. The official operator of GELP is the Global Venture Alliance.

27 October, Friday
FORBES MAGAZINE CELEBRATED ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A GRAND GALA AT PASHKOV HOUSE

Global Venture Alliance is the general sponsor of the event on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the magazine Forbes.

25 October, Wednesday
Russia creates a research center for IT solutions in the transport industry

The Global Venture Alliance team on October 17 at the international forum "Open Innovations 2017" in Skolkovo organized a closed signing between RZhD, IBM, NES and NCC in the field of transport logistics. 

September 2017
19 September, Tuesday
MEGA Accelerator Opening

IKEA Centers Russia and GVA have identified 9 start-ups that will go into the MEGA Accelerator business incubator. Theese are Altair VR virtual planetarium, mobile application Save4time, virtual bot MRBot, VR-platform Hexa, interactive game Ligrook, time scheduler Verme, HR-robot Robot Vera, corporate messenger Beesender and IT-service for lawyers Bots & Partners. This was reported to Firrma in IKEA Centres Russia.

July 2017
28 July, Friday
Apple imagines AR glasses that fulfill the dream of Google Glass

Tim Cook has not-so-subtly hinted that Apple is working on some sort of augmented reality product. And while ARKit may be the start, a patent application published today hints at what Apple could be picturing down the road.


26 July, Wednesday
Apple and Cochlear team up to roll out the first implant made for the iPhone

Apple has teamed up with Australian-based Cochlear to bring iPhone users the first made for iPhone Cochlear implant.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June, Cochlear’s Nucleus 7 Sound Processor can now stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the sound processor.

25 July, Tuesday
Google’s DeepMind made an AI that can imagine the future

Google’s London-based AI outfit DeepMind has created two different types of AI that can use their ‘imagination’ to plan ahead and perform tasks with a higher success rate than AIs without imagination. Sorry if I made you click because you wanted AIs predicted flying cars. I promise this is cool too.

24 July, Monday
Scientists are now using Wi-Fi to read human emotions

Scientists at MIT are using Wi-Fi and AI to determine your emotional state. They’ve created an algorithm that can detect and measure individual heartbeats by bouncing RF signals off of people.

21 July, Friday
This little USB stick is designed to make AI plug-and-play

The Neural Compute Stick from Movidius makes it easy to add a machine vision processor to any device.

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