Amazon has just added three new generative AI-powered apps and experiences to its Alexa platform. Focused on making Alexa more engaging, the developer-built AI apps deliver more natural conversations, music production and game play, with all apps being available to download at the Alexa Skill store.
Last year during the Amazon product event which announced the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation) and the anticipated Echo Hub wall panel, Amazon announced its plans to make Alexa more conversational and natural. With the use of AI and integration of a new large-language-model, Alexa has been updated with a realistic, smoother tone so users can chat to the digital assistant more seamlessly via their smart displays or best smart speakers.
Recently, Amazon introduced three new generative AI experiences to Alexa called Character.AI, Splash and Volley. The three apps are wildly different from one another but they allow users a new and easier way to communicate with Alexa, to improve their knowledge, create their own music and play games.
The first new app experience is Character.AI, an AI chatbot platform which makes the voice assistant more fun to communicate with and learn from. By downloading the Character.AI via Alexa Skills, you can have real-time conversations with many different characters and personas, including historical figures like William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein and Socrates.
Aside from historical people, Character.AI has fictional characters available to communicate with, including personal trainers, librarians and more, so you can decide between fun and lighthearted chats or intellectual discussions. There are over 25 unique characters to choose from and Character.AI remembers your conversations so it can adapt and learn your patterns to be more responsive to you in the future.
The second AI experience is in collaboration with Splash, an AI music creation software. This update is designed to enhance the way you listen to and make music via Alexa. With Splash, you can create custom songs, experiment with different genres and write lyrics using your voice.
By describing the type of genre or song you want to create, Alexa will take this information and generate an excerpt which you can customise and add to. Once you’ve completed your song, you can download it by asking Alexa to send a link to your phone.
The third and final (so far!) app experience is Volley, an AI version of the popular ‘20 Questions’ game. Using generative AI to interact with users, Alexa will give you a category and challenge you to guess an object or character. If you get stuck, Alexa will give you hints by asking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions until you (hopefully) get the answer right.
After seeing the new apps Amazon has added to Alexa, it’s clear that the company wants its voice assistant to be more than just a quick way to answer questions and set reminders. It’ll be interesting to see how else Amazon intends to use AI to upgrade its Alexa platform in the future.