- Amazon put up a preview for its Super Bowl ad, starring Jeff Bezos.
- The ad suggests Alexa will gain support for multiple voices in an upcoming update.
- It’s another episode in the competition between Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which has offered multiple voices since last year.
A preview of the commercial Amazon will be showing at this year’s Super Bowl (yes, that’s right, an ad for an ad) suggests that Amazon may be about to bring new voices to its Alexa assistant.
The commercial titled “Did Alexa Lose Her Voice?” begins with a woman asking Alexa about the weather while brushing her teeth. Despite the woman having a mouthful of toothpaste, Alexa shows off just how useful she has become by understanding her perfectly and seamlessly replying that it is 60 degrees in Austin.
However, before she can finish the sentence, Alexa begins to cough. The woman shows a look of genuine concern which indicates just how central to her life Alexa has become.
Cut to the Amazon headquarters and a news broadcast about Alexa “losing her voice.” Amazon CEO (and current richest man in the world) Jeff Bezos then strides purposefully into the room and asks “how is that even possible?”
The key moment of the ad comes when an Amazon employee replies to Jeff’s concern with the phrase “We have the replacements ready, just say the word.”
Of course, while this is by no means a confirmation that Amazon is about to unleash new voices, that would seem to be the most likely scenario. Otherwise, what would the millions of people who own Echos and Dots do? Also, Google Assistant has recently added the ability for its users to choose between either a male or a female voice so, given the current rivalry between the two companies, it was surely only a matter of time before Alexa did something similar.
In fact, Alexa could well be about to go one step further. The woman in the advert clearly states replacements (plural) are ready, meaning that it is likely to be more than one voice. Furthermore, the fact that Amazon is splashing out on a Super Bowl advert to announce the feature does suggest that the replacements will be something more likely to capture the imagination of the public than simply adding a different gender to the smart assistant.
January 30, 2018 at 01:32AM