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SLU Putting an Echo in Each Dorm Room

Alexa, what is the main theme in this book I’m supposed to have read?

That might be a question for the 2,300-plus Amazon Echo devices that will be in each dorm room in a couple of weeks when students return to Saint Louis University.

While help with homework may be the first thought for some students, the university is making sure Alexa knows how to answer some more practical questions students might have. “What time does the library close tonight?” and “Where is the registrar’s office?” are two of the questions that custom programming of the Echos will allow for Alexa to answer.

“The students we attract are highly driven to achieve success in and out of the classroom,” David Hakanson, SLU’s vice president and CIO said in a news release  on the SLU website. “Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the information they need online is another minute that they can spend focused on what matters most: their education.” 

Alexa also will be able to answer questions about SLU athletics (Alexa, What’s the score in the Billikens’ basketball game?), events on campus, and other information specific to students at the St. Louis, Mo., Jesuit university.

The university said the specialized university-related content was created by n-Powered, an Alexa skill development firm.


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