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Amazon to upgrade Alexa with advanced AI, introduces subscription plans- All details

Amazon plans to enhance with advanced AI and to introduce subscription plans, aiming to enhance competitiveness against rivals like Google and OpenAI.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
Updated on: May 23 2024, 14:40 IST
Amazon is upgrading Alexa with advanced AI and new subscription plans to stay competitive in tech. (Amazon)

Amazon is gearing up to revamp its Alexa voice assistant, infusing it with cutting-edge artificial intelligence capabilities and rolling out subscription plans to cover the associated costs. This strategic move aims to bolster Alexa's competitiveness in the rapidly evolving landscape of AI-powered assistants, where rivals like Google and OpenAI have been making significant strides. 

Currently, Alexa is renowned for its ability to execute tasks through voice commands, such as setting timers or playing music. However, recent advancements in AI, exemplified by OpenAI's GPT-4o, enable more nuanced two-way conversations and real-time language translation. In response, Amazon is doubling down on developing a more conversational iteration of Alexa to keep pace with these advancements, CNBC reported

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Subscription-Based Model for Alexa

The upgraded Alexa is slated for release later this year and will depart from its current inclusion in Amazon's Prime membership. Instead, users will have to opt for separate subscription plans, although the pricing structure is still in the works. This shift signifies a departure from Amazon's previous approach of bundling Alexa as a complimentary service with other products.

This strategic pivot by Amazon follows internal deliberations and pressure. While under the leadership of former CEO Jeff Bezos, Alexa received considerable investment and attention, the tenure of current CEO Andy Jassy, who assumed the role in 2021, has seen a greater emphasis on profitability. Jassy reportedly perceives Alexa's existing capabilities as insufficient compared to newer AI technologies.

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Amazon's Response to Competitive Pressure

To confront the challenge posed by formidable competitors like Google and Apple's Siri, Amazon has restructured its Alexa team and is incorporating more advanced AI functionalities. This includes leveraging Amazon's proprietary large language model, Titan, to empower the enhanced Alexa experience.

Yet, Amazon confronts hurdles. The development of advanced AI necessitates substantial resources and top-tier talent, both of which are fiercely sought after in the tech sector. Moreover, there are concerns regarding the expenses associated with integrating generative AI into Alexa, with projections indicating significant per-user costs.

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In essence, Amazon's approach with Alexa mirrors a broader trend in the tech industry towards more sophisticated AI-driven services. The success of this endeavour hinges on Amazon's ability to seamlessly integrate novel AI technologies into Alexa while justifying the attendant costs.

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First Published Date: 23 May, 14:39 IST

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