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AI-powered Alexa to come with a monthly price subscription

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Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, will reportedly offer AI capabilities for a monthly fee of $5 to $10 in addition to a Prime membership.

The new Alexa project, known internally as “Banyan”, would be a significant overhaul of the voice assistant since its introduction in 2014 alongside the Echo series of speakers. The new assistant has come to be known as “Remarkable Alexa,” reportedly dubbed by Amazon.

The AI features will allegedly include a conversational generative AI with two tiers, one of which is a superior version. Amazon is discussing the higher tier, which may cost $5. The advanced Alexa could also have learning capabilities and create routines accordingly, like turning a user’s computer or lights on when their alarm goes off. It is said to be able to complete multiple requests at once, such as writing a text message and ordering food.

Internal sources who worked on Alexa told Reuters that Amazon plans to launch the product in August. The sources include eight current and former employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity as they did not have authorisation to discuss confidential projects.

The sources said CEO Andy Jassy had developed a personal interest in seeing the renewed Alexa. In an April letter, Jassy promised a smarter and more capable Alexa to shareholders without providing context.

The launch dates and pricing for Alexa could be changed or cancelled depending on the project’s progress. An Amazon spokeswoman stated that generative AI has already been integrated into different components of Alexa and that they are working on implementation for over half a billion Alexa-enabled devices already in people’s homes.

Sources said that the launch of AI-Alexa represents a “desperate attempt” to kickstart the service, which did not profit and was left behind among the generative AI products released in the past one-and-a-half years.

While unrelated to customers’ prime memberships, the new Alexa will completely replace the old free one, and the advanced version will require a monthly subscription.

Alexa was originally an interest project of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and was visualised to emulate the fictional voice computer from Star Trek.

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Arun Maity

Arun Maity

Arun Maity is a journalist from Kolkata who graduated from the Asian College of Journalism. He has an avid interest in music, videogames and anime. When he's not working, you can find him practicing and recording his drum covers, watching anime or playing games. You can contact him here: