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Amazon recently announced that the Alexa AI powering its Echo and other hardware has now learned 1,000 "skills" (up from just 135 in January). In case you're not up to speed with all the new tricks, we've picked out 40 of our favourites -- you can discover the other 960 yourself.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

Unless you're one of the handful of people rocking a Windows Phone, you won't have much experience with Cortana, Microsoft's personal digital assistant. With the roll-out of Windows 10, Cortana is about to make a lot of new friends very quickly -- and like me, they might soon find themselves shouting instructions at their computer on a regular basis.

Here's a good deed you can do without parting with a single thing. Synthetic voices for people who have lost the ability to speak only come in generic types -- think of Stephen Hawking's voice -- but one fascinating project wants to build custom voices for each person. To do that they need your help: specifically, a recording of your voice.

Listen to super talented voice actor Brock Baker zip through 33 different Simpsons impressions in 5 minutes. His Homer takes a little getting used to but he nails a good chunk of them. There are a few that are pitch perfect (like his Fat Tony). Anyway, it all adds up to a very fun watch.

Siri has provided iPhone users around the planet with everything from weather forecasts to restaurant reviews, whilst fending off dumb-arse questions along the way. But if you ever wondered who whispered all those sweet nothings, here's your answer.

People who have been blind since a young age can sometimes learn to develop a sort of low-grade echolocation. This technique, used by the likes of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Ronnie Milsap, and Ben Underwood, works much the same way as it does in bats and dolphins. But people who have just recently lost their sight can't harness this ability innately. They need the vOICe to do it for them.

If you're playing your ongoing game of buzzword-bingo, feel free to add this one to your list: perceptual computing. It's a phrase that you're about to hear a lot of, and for good reason: it's the future of computing, and it's freaking awesome.

It's getting dangerous just to walk and text at the same time much less do so behind the wheel of a car. But with Siri being just slightly less helpful than HAL, how are you supposed to surf the web and simultaneously travel safely? All you have to do is ask.