Amazon has stated that it is stopping the celebrity voices it has been using for Alexa, which is a surprising move. Due to this move, customers will no longer be able to buy or access the voices of well-known actors including Samuel L. Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Melissa McCarthy. The specifics of this choice, potential repercussions for Amazon and its clients, and the voice assistant’s future development are all explored in this article.
Credits: The Verge
The End of an Era:
Celebrity Voices are Disappearing The celebrity voices function provided Alexa users with a distinctive and enjoyable experience by fusing the personalities of well-known people. Users may engage with Alexa using the well-known voices of Shaq, McCarthy, or Samuel L. Jackson for a small cost, boosting their Alexa experience with jokes, anecdotes, and tailored responses.
Discontinuation and Refunds:
Customer Reaction According to Amazon, the company will no longer offer celebrity voices on Alexa devices. Users who have previously paid for these voices will only be able to use them for a certain amount of time before they stop working. Customers can request a refund, though, by getting in touch with Amazon customer service.
The Evolution of Celebrity Voices on Alexa:
An important turning point for Amazon was the addition of celebrity voices on Alexa. The text-to-speech function was first introduced in 2019 with Samuel L. Jackson’s voice, and it made use of Amazon’s neural text-to-speech model to provide dynamic and occasionally explicit responses. In 2021, the voices of Melissa McCarthy and Shaquille O’Neal were added, giving users access to more celebrity encounters.
Limited Functionality and Potential Challenges:
Even though the celebrity voices option provided an entertaining and interesting experience, it had some drawbacks. These voices reportedly did not fully connect with several Alexa capabilities, such as shopping lists, reminders, or skills, according to users. The feature’s low functioning may have played a role in the decision to end it.
Amazon’s Alexa Woes and Strategic Shifts:
The decision to stop using celebrity voices on Alexa may be a sign of larger issues Amazon is having with the voice assistant. There have been rumours that the business is looking closely at its Alexa division, where operating losses have recently exceeded $5 million. In addition, Amazon announced layoffs impacting 18,000 workers, which will have a big impact on the department in charge of developing Alexa and Echo products.
The Future of Alexa:
How to Adjust to New Technologies Amazon is probably reassessing Alexa’s role and market positioning as the field of voice assistants changes. According to reports, Amazon is reportedly considering revamping Alexa to be more proactive and conversational in light of the growth of ChatGPT, a significant language model. Celebrity voices may have been discontinued as a result of this change since they may no longer fit with Amazon’s mission or are too expensive to licence.
Impact on Customers and Companies Involved:
Some consumers who valued the distinctive interactions that celebrity voices on Alexa offered might be disappointed by their removal. However, Amazon’s refund option illustrates their dedication to client pleasure. As a result of this change, Alexa users will no longer be able to access the voices of the involved celebrities.
The elimination of celebrity voices from Alexa by Amazon signals the end of an era for the well-known voice assistant. Limitations and strategic changes inside Amazon may have affected this decision, despite the fact that users appreciated the engaging interactions and customised experiences these voices offered. It is unclear what additional features and capabilities will determine the future of Amazon’s voice assistant as the company updates Alexa to accommodate developing technologies like ChatGPT.