Is Alexa's brainy BFF on the horizon? Amazon rumored to launch a ChatGPT competitor

Is Alexa's brainy BFF on the horizon? Amazon rumored to launch a ChatGPT competitor
Amazon has nailed the smart home game with Alexa, but it's been trailing in the AI arena. To close the gap, it is reportedly gearing up to launch a turbocharged version of Alexa. Plus, rumor has it the company is working on its own chatbot to go head-to-head with ChatGPT.

Amazon reportedly working on a new "Metis" chatbot

According to Business Insider (subscription required to view), Amazon is reportedly developing a new chatbot called "Metis." Citing an internal document and unnamed sources, the report says Metis will be powered by a new AI model named Olympus instead of Amazon's earlier AI model, Titan.

With Metis, Amazon is reportedly planning to use a method called retrieval-augmented generation (RAG). This approach allows the chatbot to find and provide information it wasn't specifically trained on, such as current stock prices.

In a nutshell, RAG enables systems to pull data from external sources like APIs and document repositories. This means the data can be updated independently without needing to retrain the model. As a result, it can access the latest information and ideally offer more accurate and clear responses.

Moreover, Metis will feature text and image-based answers for conversations. Like other chatbots, it can share links, handle follow-up questions, and even create its own images.

However, Metis isn't just about chatting. It is expected to function as an AI agent, able to automate and execute complex tasks using existing data. What tasks, you may ask? Well, for example, crafting a detailed vacation itinerary or turning on your lights and booking flights for you.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy and Rohit Prasad, the head scientist of its AGI team and a senior vice president, are reportedly hands-on in shaping Metis. They're joined by a team of experienced Alexa AI veterans, leveraging their expertise from developing the upcoming "Remarkable Alexa" voice assistant.

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Amazon is also working on a AI-powered Alexa | Video credit – Amazon

Lately, there's been a lot of buzz about Amazon's AI initiatives, suggesting the company is actively working on something behind the scenes, even if it's not quite ready to unveil publicly yet.

With Metis, Amazon is entering a competitive AI-assistant landscape. Google and Microsoft already have their own AI assistants, and OpenAI has invested heavily in its leading ChatGPT for years. Anthropic and various other AI startups also provide AI chatbots and assistants, further crowding the market.

Supposedly, Metis won't hit the scene until September (Apple Intelligence is also gearing up for a fall launch, but it's got a head start, thanks to OpenAI). While Amazon may not be leading the pack, there is a silver lining in arriving later: the company can learn from what's worked and flopped for others in the field.

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