Alexa from Amazon bids adieu to famous voices.
Amazon has announced the end of its celebrity voice feature on Alexa, its voice assistant, as part of a significant change in its product strategy. Users could customize their Alexa to speak in the voices of well-known celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson, Melissa McCarthy, and Shaquille O’Neal, a feature that some people enjoy. But this cherished job is then scheduled to end.
Timeline for The Celebrity Voice
The celebrities’ voices will be phased out at various times:
- On June 7, 2023, Samuel L. Jackson’s voice will depart the stage.
- On September 30, 2023, Shaquille O’Neal and Melissa McCarthy’s voices will be retired.
The cost of the celebrity voiceover, priced between $99 and $4.99, is no longer for sale. Users who have previously paid for the feature can use it up until the aforementioned times.
An Opportunity for Refunds
Users who have purchased the celebrity voices on Amazon can expect refunds, the company has promised. The steps involved in making a refund include:
- Visiting the hub for Amazon Customer Service.
- Logging into your Amazon account.
- Under the “Here are some other things we can help with” section, choose “Something else.”
- To access the customer service chatbot screen, click “I need more help.”
- Request a refund for the Alexa celebrity voice initially purchased from the customer service representative.
Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, has been having financial difficulties at the time of this move. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon’s devices division has been losing$ 5 billion annually. Andy Jassy, the CEO of the business, ordered a cost-cutting review as he resulted from this revelation. Significant layoffs followed, with 27,000 workers— some working on Alexa— being let go since November.
But, Amazon has made a significant investment in voice interfaces. The company has worked to use voice control to make smart home appliances and online shopping available to the average person since the launch of Alexa and the first Echo speaker in 2015.
However, these efforts’ practicality fell short of expectations, which resulted in financial losses. While considering incorporating productive artificial intelligence into its products, similar to moves made by OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google, Amazon is now looking to recoup its investments.
Alexa features The Future of Voice
Celebrity voices are leaving, but Alexa still has another intriguing feature. Users can also contact Alexa to inquire about the newest deals on Amazon, find recipes, get health advice, follow their favorite sports teams, and even send virtual hugs to loved ones.
There have been rumors that Amazon is considering integrating artificial intelligence into Alexa in terms of potential improvements. During an earnings call, the company’s CEO suggested that Alexa should be given the “much larger and much more generalized and capable” Large Language Model( LLM), which could pave the way for the development of voice assistant capabilities in the future.
Although some users may be disappointed by the demise of the celebrity voices on Alexa, this is just one aspect of Amazon’s overall strategy change. The business is concentrating on cost optimization while even looking into cutting-edge technologies to improve the user experience. The specifics of these changes and how they will ultimately impact Alexa are still unknown.