Amazon Fire TV gets a free upgrade that makes voice search so much smarter

Amazon's adding AI smarts to Alexa on your Fire TV to improve your search results

Fire TV 2024 lifestyle image
(Image credit: Amazon)
Quick Summary

Fire TV users are getting a free upgrade that'll bring AI-enhanced search results to Alexa. 

That should deliver better and more personalised search results as well as better viewing recommendations.

Your Amazon Fire TV device is about to get a whole lot smarter. That's because the search feature in Fire TV is getting some extra AI power to help Alexa give you more accurate and more useful answers, and to give you much better viewing recommendations too.

The newly upgraded search feature will be able to answer more complex plain language questions such as "Which movie has the line 'life is like a box of chocolates?'" and will also be able to give you viewing options based on actors, the characters they play, and the genre and subjects of movies and TV shows. 

The feature was announced late last year, but it's only just rolling out now. Amazon is prioritising the US for this upgrade and it should reach your device in the next few weeks if you're a US user. UK users will have to wait a little longer.

What will AI bring to Fire TV?

Leaving aside the usual linguistic quibbles – this upgrade is based on ChatGPT-style large language models rather than actual artificial intelligence, so it's more of a super-powered natural language interpreter than Skynet – the features will be much more useful and much more personalised. 

For example, Alexa can now tell which streaming services you're subscribed to and which ones you aren't, so when you ask for recommendations it's not going to suggest shows or movies on services you don't have. Or at least, that's the current situation: I can't imagine Amazon will want to pass up the opportunity to sell additional channel bundles going forwards.

The new search feature is rolling out to customers in the US over the next few weeks, and you'll need to be running Fire OS 6 or later in order to get it. As yet we don't know when the rollout will reach other countries such as the UK. 

Amazon is going big on generative AI: it previously added an artwork generator that enabled you to generate your own background images on your Fire TV, and that was part of a wider suite of features that Amazon calls the Ambient Experience. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).