What you need to know
- The upgraded version of Alexa, internally known as “Remarkable Alexa,” relies on a new large language model for improved personalization but faces challenges in meeting expectations during testing.
- Amazon plans to launch Alexa Plus on June 30, despite reported internal conflicts over revamping Alexa’s technology stack.
- Some employees are questioning the idea of charging for Alexa Plus, wondering if customers will be willing to pay for an upgraded version when already subscribing to other Amazon services.
Amazon’s been struggling to cash in on Alexa, but the latest scoop from Business Insider says the company is toying with the idea of a paid version to make ends meet.
The upgraded version, dubbed “Alexa Plus,” will reportedly bring the smarts with generative AI for beefed-up answers. But Amazon might slap a monthly fee on it to tackle the hefty bill of running generative AI. The price is still a mystery.
At Amazon’s hardware event last September, Dave Limp, Amazon’s then head of hardware before joining Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as CEO, teased the company’s plans for Alexa and generative AI. He also dropped a hint that it might cost you a few bucks.
After that, rumor had it that more than 15,000 users were putting the service through its paces under the internal name “Remarkable Alexa.” While there’s not much information, it looks like Amazon might roll it out on June 30, as per Business Insider’s sources.
Alexa Plus doesn’t appear to be bringing a whole new bag of tricks to your smart home. Instead, it appears to be geared toward smoothing things out and making device control a breeze. Back in September, Amazon previewed a few things you can do with the upgraded Alexa like throwing multiple commands in one sentence and setting up Routines just by talking.
While the new Alexa AI is supposed to launch later in the first half of this year, the test run didn’t go as planned, per the report. Sure, it got more conversational and personalized, but it also had the tendency to give inaccurate answers.
To fix those issues, Amazon is supposedly giving Alexa a makeover, but it’s causing some rift between the original Alexa team and the new group building a paid version.
According to the sources, rumor has it that some Amazon employees are scratching their heads over charging for Alexa. Apparently, they’re questioning if people would cough up cash for a fancy Alexa upgrade on top of what they’re already shelling out for other Amazon subscriptions.
With all the hiccups Amazon is facing right now, there’s a chance that Alexa Plus might face some delays. Nonetheless, it looks like Amazon might finally cash in on its digital assistant eventually, even though Alexa’s been bleeding money forever.