It was a big night for Amazon, with their hardware division rolling out a multitude of new products including Ring security cameras, new Fire tablets, a Fire TV Soundbar, a Eero Max 7 router and even updated Echo Frames it was also revealed that Amazon is looking to tap generative AI to reignite excitement about its home devices.Against a backdrop of job cuts in the company’s hardware division, the head of devices, Dave Limp who is set to quit the Company this year told the audience at Amazon headquarters, that generative AI — which has fuelled debates globally about the future of work, security and regulation — would “drive an entirely new Alexa experience” and usher into life a “smarter and more conversational” voice assistant in the future.
Currently archrivals Google, Apple and Microsoft are working on new AI voice activated devices which could be in market early next year.
Limp unveiled his vision for the future of Alexa, which he said would be powered by generative AI and based on a new, custom-built large language model.
Alexa would be able to respond more quickly and naturally to questions and commands, and the experience would be “just like talking to another human being”, he said.
For example, using a new “let’s chat” feature, users would be able to interrupt Alexa to give the assistant more precise instructions or change a request, without having to use the “Alexa” command. The voice assistant would respond to updated prompts quickly and without recalibrating, as a person would do, and would also be able to infer the meaning of and answers to less specific questions.
The generative AI-driven upgrades would also include a better search function on Amazon’s Fire TV, the company said. For example, users would be able to ask to see movies “I don’t have to pay for” or that “I haven’t seen yet” or ask for recommendations based on who had starred in a show and whether it won major awards.While Amazon’s gadgets and devices arm was a personal passion for founder Jeff Bezos, the retail giant’s chief executive Andy Jassy has appeared less excited about the division. Limp is set to step down from his job before the end of the year.
Limp told the audience While “cynics might not have believed” that technology would transform how people lived at home when Alexa was launched a decade ago, “this paradigm is here to stay”, Limp said.
The integration of generative AI to the devices would not come at the expense of security or privacy, which were front of mind for the team, he added.