Pulp Diction: Actor Jackson Alexa’s first celebrity voice
Seattle: Amazon unveiled a lineup of new Alexa-powered products on Wednesday extending from homes and cars to wearable devices, and a celebrity voice option for the popular digital assistant.
Alexa has been tweaked using machine learning to speak more like a person, and will offer celebrity voices — with the first being star actor Samuel L Jackson.
For $4.99 (Rs 354), Alexa users can now ask Jackson to sing them happy birthday or tell them the weather. There will be a “clean” version for those who do not want to hear Jackson curse. Amazon said other celebrity voices will be added next year. In a product launch in Seattle, Washington, Alexa was the star as Amazon sought to widen the reach of its digital assistant powered by artificial intelligence amid a battle with rivals from Google, Apple, Microsoft and others.
The celebrity voice option follows a similar move by Google, which gave users the option of hearing celebrity singer John Legend on Google Assistant last year.
Along with beefing up the Echo and Ring lines, Amazon introduced earbuds it touted as providing the first wearable, handsfree Alexa experience. The Rs 9230 wearable devices will work with Google or Apple smart assistant software already on smartphones.
Samuel L Jackson