Rumors of Alexa’s demise are premature, with Amazon poised to give the virtual assistant a major AI upgrade.
Amazon’s layoffs hit Alexa development hard, with nearly 2,000 employees in the company’s devices unit impacted. The layoffs had some questioning Alexa’s future, but it appears Amazon has big plans for the virtual assistant.
In a leaked memo seen by Business Insider, CEO Andy Jassy wants to make Alexa much more intelligent with ChatGPT-like abilities. The memo says customers should feel “like Alexa is thinking vs. fetching from a database.” Jassy wants to see Alexa become more conversational and have the ability to complete new tasks, such as reading the news, giving recommendations, and telling stories.
Insider reached out to Amazon for comment and was told the revamped Alexa will be powered by the company’s own generative AI model, Alexa Teacher Model.
“We’re also building new models that are much larger and much more generalized and capable, which will take what already is the world’s best personal assistant and accelerate our path to being even more proactive and conversational,” the spokesperson said in an email to the outlet.
Alexa is already one of the most popular virtual assistants. If Amazon is able to deliver a more intelligent version, it could help AI go mainstream overnight.