Is Amazon's Alexa becoming paid? Monthly subscription could cost this much - Hindustan Times
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Is Amazon's Alexa becoming paid? Monthly subscription could cost this much

By | Edited by Mallika Soni
May 23, 2024 10:38 AM IST

Amazon will launch a more conversational version of Alexa later this year as it competes with AI-powered chatbots from Google and OpenAI.

Amazon is upgrading its Alexa voice assistant with artificial intelligence (AI) as it plans to charge a monthly subscription fee, CNBC reported citing people in the know. The company will launch a more conversational version of Alexa later this year as it competes with AI-powered chatbots from Google and OpenAI. The report also claimed Amazon’s subscription for Alexa will not be included in the $139-per-year Prime offering.

The Amazon logo is pictured outside the company's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York.(Reuters)
The Amazon logo is pictured outside the company's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York.(Reuters)

This comes after OpenAI announced GPT-4o with the capability for two-way conversations- much more than that of Alexa. The updated version can translate conversations into different languages in real time.

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Earlier, Amazon’s former SVP of devices and services David Limp told The Verge that the company was considering charging for a more powerful version of Alexa.

The report also claimed that development of new AI chatbots in recent months has increased pressure on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Former employees have pointed out how Alexa is one of Jeff Bezos' passion projects but this changed when Andy Jassy took over as CEO in 2021 as he remained more focus on Amazon's business and expansion during the Covid pandemic.

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Citing a person in the know, the report claimed that Andy Jassy has been privately underwhelmed with what Alexa is capable of as its team is worried they had invented an expensive alarm clock, weather machine and way to play Spotify music.

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The company said in its annual shareholder letter released last month that it is building “substantial number of GenAI applications across every Amazon consumer business which included an even more intelligent and capable Alexa.”

Jeff Bezos has also voiced concern that Amazon is behind in AI, it was earlier reported as he remains “very involved” in Amazon’s AI efforts.

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