New AI technology enhances Amazon’s Alexa with generative capabilities

In September 2023, Amazon announced to developers that it would be launching new tools to build LLM-powered experiences. Today, the company revealed three developers delivering new generative AI-powered Alexa experiences, including AI chatbot platform Character.AI, AI music company Splash and Voice AI game developer Volley. All three experiences are available in the Amazon Alexa Skill Store. Volley introduced its generative AI-powered “20 Questions” game, giving Alexa users a modern version of the well-known game. The game uses generative AI to interact with users by asking them questions, providing hints and explaining “yes or no questions” if the human opponent gets stuck.

Tech Companies Unveil Generative AI at CES 2024

As CES kicks off with a bang, one trend that stands out among the rest is the focus on generative AI from tech companies. This year, key players like Volkswagen, Nvidia, and Amazon are all showcasing their cutting-edge developments in AI technology.

In a developer announcement back in September 2023, Amazon revealed its plan to roll out new tools for building LLM-powered experiences. Fast forward to today, and the tech giant has finally unveiled three new experiences powered by generative AI and available on the Amazon Alexa Skill Store.

“Generative AI is revolutionizing the way we interact with technology,” says an Amazon representative. “We’re excited to see the creative and innovative ways developers are utilizing this technology.”

So, what exactly are these new generative AI-powered Alexa experiences?

Character.AI

First up is Character.AI, a chatbot platform that allows Alexa users to engage in real-time conversations with different personas. From a fictional character named Librarian Linda to a personal trainer or even a pretend-version of your favorite celebrity or historical figure like Elon Musk, Socrates, or William Shakespeare – there’s no end to the kinds of conversations you can have. You can even play a roleplay adventure game, like helping everyone’s favorite Nintendo character, Mario, find Princess Peach.

Splash

Move over, American Idol – Splash is a free Alexa Skill that lets users create their own custom songs using their voice. Simply say, “Alexa, open Splash,” choose a musical genre, add lyrics, and either rap or sing along. You can even download your songs by asking Alexa to send a link to your mobile phone.

Volley

Last but not least, Volley introduces a generative AI-powered “20 Questions” game, a modern version of the classic game we all know and love. With generative AI at its core, Volley can engage players by asking them questions, giving hints, and providing “yes or no” prompts when the human opponent gets stuck.

In addition to these exciting new Alexa experiences, Amazon has been making significant enhancements to their virtual assistant in recent months. These include developing a new generative AI model to give Alexa a more opinionated personality, the ability to adjust its tone and expressions to convey human emotions, and a kids-focused feature on Echo devices called “Explore with Alexa.”

Other noteworthy announcements from Amazon at CES include bringing Fire TV to Panasonic’s new smart TVs in 2024, support for Matter Casting on Fire TV and Echo Show 15, and the latest generation of the autonomous robotaxi, Zoox.

As technology continues to evolve and advance, it’s clear that generative AI will play a significant role in shaping our interactions with it. And with these latest developments from tech companies like Amazon, we can’t wait to see what else is in store for us in the future.

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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