Amazon Alexa could get monthly subscription for AI features

Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is reportedly undergoing a major overhaul. A Reuters report suggests that Amazon is working on including conversational generative AI in Alexa services.

This project represents the first major overhaul of the voice assistant since it was introduced in 2014. Known internally as “Banyan,” it is expected to be marketed as “Remarkable Alexa,” according to internal sources.

Amazon’s Alexa business has been unprofitable for a long time, prompting the firm to revamp the service to increase profitability. The revamp will allow Amazon to introduce two tiers of subscription services, with a proposed monthly fee of around USD 5 to USD 10 (Rs. 417–835 approx.).

In his letter to shareholders, the company’s CEO Andy Jassy promised a “more intelligent and capable Alexa,” in April. So this confirms the firm’s interest in revamping its voice assistant service.

According to an Amazon spokeswoman, the firm has already integrated generative AI into different components of Alexa and is working on large-scale implementation. She said to Reuters that,

We have already integrated generative AI into different components of Alexa, and are working hard on implementation at scale—in the over half a billion ambient, Alexa-enabled devices already in homes around the world—to enable even more proactive, personal, and trusted assistance for our customers.

With the generative AI space becoming more competitive with the improvement of ChatGPT, Gemini, and more, Amazon’s Alexa business plays a major role in helping the firm compete with these competitors.

The “Banyan” project has a deadline of August and could be made public later this year. There’s also a possibility of the deadline being extended depending on the progress. We should get more information about this in the coming months.