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The Alexa Conference begins in Chattanooga

The Alexa Conference is bringing people interested in voice first platforms to Chattanooga.

This week the Alexa Conference is bringing people from all over the world to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The conference is all about voice-first technology and the voice-first economy.

"The Alexa conference is the gathering of developers and enthusiasts for Amazon's Alexa ecosystem, but also more broadly voice first plat forms so Google Home, Siri, Bixby and many others," Alexa Conference organizer Bradley Metrock said.

Mr. Metrock brought the conference to Chattanooga this year because of the growing tech entrepreneurship community.

"The kind of experiences you'd think you could only get in a West Coast, Silicon Valley type of environment are happening here," Jackson Stone, Skuid's Senior Software Engineer. "You just have to seek them out and find the right place."

And the right place to be today for local programmers and developers was first the Chattanooga Public Library and then the Edney Innovation Center. The events at the library started the day with guest speakers and panel discussions. A 48 hour hack-a-thon began at the Edney at 1 PM.

You can already use the Alexa Echo and other devices to turn on your TV, turn off your lights and order items on your grocery list and many other things but the Alexathon is a chance to explore how to use this technology in new ways.

"Is a informal hack-a-thon that we've put together to let people who are participating in the Alexa Conference as well as local developers come together and build cool things together that use Amazon Alexa," Jake Brown with Chattanooga's EPB said.

There are four different categories in the competition with four different winners.

Lisa Garvey is VP of Marketing with Mojo Networks. She came to Chattanooga from California for the conference. She's one of the judges for the Alexathon.

"I think most people don't have a grasp on how much this technology is going to impact our lives," Lisa Garvey said. "I think in five years we're going to be using voice control to do so much we normally use a touch interface for now."

The conference continues through tomorrow and ends Saturday. Saturday's events will discuss how this technology is being used in healthcare.


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