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What is Alexa Plus? Next-gen subscription AI reportedly on the way

What is Alexa Plus? Reports say Amazon is planning on an advanced version of Alexa powered by generative AI and it intends to charge users for the privilege. Here’s what we know so far.

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is among the most used tools for controlling the smart home, accessing media content, and answering general questions.

However, in its current form, Alexa is being outpaced by the new-generation generative AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT which powers Microsoft Copilot, and Google’s own large language model-powered Bard.

Recent reports say Amazon is currently testing a massive upgrade on Alexa with greater conversational capabilities. As such, it plans to offer it as a subscription called Alexa Plus according to the report.

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What is Alexa Plus?

A Business Insider report in mid-January said the so-called ‘Remarkable Alexa’ update would be better at simulating more natural conversations. The details within the report are scant other than to say Amazon’s efforts are not quite going to plan.

Apparently, efforts to perfect the new product are floundering. According to the report Amazon is currently testing the update with 15,000 customers, but many report the planned upgrade “often gives unnecessarily long or inaccurate responses”

The report also says the project is the subject of fierce internal politics at Amazon.

When is Alexa Plus coming out?

The Business Insider report says Amazon is targeting June 30 2024 as a launch for the Alexa Plus feature. However, given the reports of the ongoing issues with perfecting the product, it’s unclear whether Amazon will make this deadline.

What will Alexa Plus cost?

All indications are that Alexa Plus is going to be a subscription service sold by Amazon atop the existing free-to-use Alexa assistant. However, it’s not clear how much Amazon would seek for this product. It’s also plausible Amazon could offer this as part of a Prime subscription. We’ll keep you posted if and when Amazon confirms Alexa Plus is real and when it plans to launch it.

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