With Microsoft and Google making significant strides in the Generative AI space, Amazon decided to open a new chapter for the digital assisstant. Welcome home, Alexa 2.0
In Arlington, Virginia, Amazon executives met on Wednesday during their fall event. The focus of the meeting was how to better the company’s long-term investments in artificial intelligence (AI).
Chief analyst, Ben Wood tells indiaexpress.com ““Amazon is investing heavily in AI, particularly for its retail business where AI is used to optimize the customer experience. However, the company has not shared a lot of details on how AI is being used in other parts of its business.”
He continued that it is expected to be one of the themes that is forthcoming this fall event.
Amazon, the giant of ecommerce, was one of the first tech companies to add artificial intelligence into Echo smart speakers. At the time people had no idea whatsoever that AI was able to do. This Echo is powered by Alexa.
If you haven’t already been enchanted by the charming Alexa, let me introduce her to you.
Alexa is the name of Amazons personal assistant which allows you to use voice commands in order to access streaming music, news reports, or even turning on your smart lights. Alexa was a such a hit that it opened doors for Amazon into the smart home segment. Because of Alexa the company began seriously thinking about hardware for their smart home segment and this led to the birth of the Kindle in 2007. Although Kindle was a hit, nothing compared to the success of Alexa.
Although Alexa was founded in 1996, it was launched in 2014. Nine years later Amazon still sells the Echo line of smart speakers and displays which are Alexa powered. Amazon has succeeded in putting Alexa into basically everything from TVs, home security systems and microwaves to cars. The only problem that Amazon is having now is the fact that they feel Alexa has not matured enough for a company that has high expectations for their virtual assistant in answering questions or aiding in task accomplishments.
This is not a fashion related article but a tech one, so hold your horses while I pause for a moment to personify Alexa. As we are amid Milan fashion week, Amazon got inspired and decided to give Alexa a makeover.
According to Jaspreet Bindra, Managing Director and Founder of The Tech Whisper, even though Alexa and Siri are stuck in time as the greatest voice assistants, it is time to build Alexa 2.0 with Generative AI. He continues to state that it should have a human-like voice interaction.
When Alexa was created, Amazon took a different approach and was ahead of its time. Lately, Big Tech companies have diverted their attention to get into AI and Amazon took it as a challenge and decided they cannot lose this war. Amazon literally went by “finders’ keepers, losers’ weepers.”
Amazons’ smart hardware is a small part of its core business, but it is the creation of the Echo Alexa that made the biggest impact.
Bindara states that in his own opinion, compared to Google and Microsoft, Amazon has yet to show generative AI Tools that are comparable. The biggest advantage that Alexa has over any AI chatbot is the fact that it is conversational.
The only bug that is being improved on is Alexa’s hallucinations for security purposes and not for the user’s mental health. Thanks Amazon! Hearing sounds and seeing nonexistent things is not what I meant by Alexas’s hallucinations. Hallucinations in this case is an issue with the tendency to splurge inaccurate information with AI models.
If Alexa knew what was going on, I’m pretty sure she would quote Tyra Banks and tell every AI model,
“I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes I must remind myself that it’s okay if there are flaws here and there.”
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