Updated May 22nd, 2024 at 19:48 IST

Amazon plans AI facelift, paid plans for Alexa voice assistant

Amazon introduced Alexa in 2014 but has been unable to make it commercially viable.

Reported by: Business Desk
Alexa | Image:Reuters Photo
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Alexa, show me the money: Amazon is making efforts by working on an Artificial Intelligence-driven facelift of its Alexa voice assistant. The online retail giant is mulling to charge a monthly subscription fee to factor in the offset technology costs, CNBC reported on Wednesday.
Amazon said it will launch a more conversational version of the voice assistant later this year, positioning it to better compete with AI-powered chatbots from Microsoft and Alphabet's Google, the report said, referring to persons privy with Amazon's plans. However, Amazon did not immediately react to queries.

Alexa Subscription Norms 

A subscription to Alexa will not be included in the company's $139 Prime offering and Amazon is yet to bring down the price of the new services, the report said. The tech firm further said that the company will use its own Titan large language model for the upgrade.
It was in 2014 that Amazon introduced Alexa but has been unable to make it commercially viable. On the contrary, Amazon is wooing shoppers to the company's website for more purchases. 
Amazon updated its Alexa voice assistant with generative artificial intelligence last September to attract users. The company resorted to hundreds of job cuts in its Alexa voice assistant unit in November.
Apple is also reportedly looking to revamp its Siri virtual assistant with generative artificial intelligence features.
The CNBC report comes more than a week after OpenAI unveiled a new AI model called GPT-4o, which enables users to speak to ChatGPT and obtain real-time responses without lag. It can also interrupt ChatGPT.
Both are hallmarks of realistic conversations that older AI assistants struggle to handle.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published May 22nd, 2024 at 19:48 IST