Amazon plans to supercharge Alexa with AI, but it might cost you

Amazon plans to supercharge Alexa with AI, but it might cost you
Last fall, Amazon dropped the news that it has been using generative AI to upgrade many of Alexa's features and that it's gearing up to unleash a more chatty and intuitive Alexa, powered by a new large language model tailored for voice interactions. Back then, it was mentioned that this upgrade would reach US customers sometime in 2024.

Amazon's decade-old voice assistant set for major upgrade

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Now, there's buzz that Google Assistant's top rival is finally getting the big AI makeover, but it is not going to be without a price tag. CNBC reports that insiders say Amazon is revamping its long-standing Alexa voice assistant with generative AI and plans to introduce a monthly subscription fee to cover the costs.

Amazon is expected to roll out the more chatty version of Alexa later this year, putting it in a stronger position to compete with new generative AI-powered chatbots from companies like Google with its Gemini and OpenAI with its ChatGPT.

However, according to the insiders, Amazon's Alexa subscription won't be bundled into the $139 per year Prime package. And it seems Amazon hasn't settled on the pricing yet.

All big tech companies with digital assistants are hustling to stay ahead by jazzing them up with AI. Recently, Google dropped Gemini, an advanced AI system that's a whiz at chewing through and understanding info like text, then firing back with comprehensive answers. Gemini's set to become a key player in all things Google, including its Assistant.

OpenAI recently made waves by announcing GPT-4o, boasting the ability for two-way conversations that dive way deeper than Alexa's small talk. For instance, it can smoothly translate conversations into different languages in real-time.

Apple is gearing up to give its voice assistant, Siri, a total AI makeover. We're itching to hear more about it at the upcoming WWDC, kicking off on June 10.

AI is definitely sticking around, and as you've probably noticed, it's becoming a major player in our mobile experience, too. With the technology advancing at such a high speed, AI might even help us live more in the moment (with projects like Google's Astra, for example), but of course, only time will tell.

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