Amazon to Introduce Improved AI-Powered Alexa, But It Might Be Behind a Paywall: Report

Amazon to Introduce Improved AI-Powered Alexa, But It Might Be Behind a Paywall: Report


Amazon is reportedly working to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into its cloud-based voice assistant, Alexa, but users may have to pay more before they can make use of its services. The Seattle-based tech giant has been planning to improve the capabilities of its virtual voice assistant since 2023, likely not falling behind the likes of OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Gemini. But now a new report highlights that while Alexa might get smarter, it won't be included with the standard Amazon Prime subscription.

Amazon to make Alexa smarter

Last month, Amazon published a post in its newsroom titled “CEO Andy Jassy's 2023 Letter to Shareholders.” The lengthy post detailed the tech giant's vision for the coming financial year and the strategies it plans to implement to stay ahead of the curve. In the post, the CEO stated that the company was working to build “an even smarter and more capable Alexa.”

It is believed that the company could leverage its internal Titan family of large language models (LLMs) that it has been working on for some time. Some of the released AI models also include multi-modal capabilities, making them suitable for a service like Alexa. However, Amazon is keeping Alexa's potential new features under wraps for now.

Some rumors suggest that Alexa could get better conversational capability rivaling the GPT-4o or Gemini 1.5 Pro. In addition, it could also be more efficient at handling complicated tasks and understanding commands given in contextual language.

AI-powered Alexa might require another subscription

Access to Alexa's core functionality is currently free and open to anyone. Some of its more premium use cases may require an Amazon Prime subscription (for Prime Music, Prime Video, and more). However, according to a CNBC report, the company could put Alexa's AI capabilities behind another subscription.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the report claimed that Amazon is not considering bundling the updated Alexa with the Prime subscription. The reason for this decision is that running servers for AI computing can be expensive. According to the report, the tech giant might be paying around $0.02 (roughly Rs. 1.50) per query, which could quickly add up. As a result, a price tag of $20 (roughly Rs. 1,770) per month has been considered internally. However, the company has reportedly not reached any conclusions yet.

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