Previewed at Amazon's 2023 Devices launch, the generative AI upgrade has made Alexa much easier to talk to. The integration of a new LLM (Large-language-model) means that not only does it talk more realistically and with a smoother tone, but it has also had a host of useability upgrades.
Not only do you now no longer need to keep using the wake word 'Alexa' for every question but it will be more opinionated and human. In a demo at the event, Amazon VP Dave Limp asked it what football (American football) team it supported and it came back with the answer "Well I'm from Seattle so I love the SeaHawks".
Limp was even able to start talking to his Echo Show 8, walk away and then come back and ask it another question without using the wake word again, more impressive still it managed to retain the context of the conversation. This is powered by the Echo Show's Visual ID feature so will likely be limited to the Show models for now.
This AI upgrade will be coming to Alexa in 2024, with US users able to preview it in a trial this year. If you're really keen on AI then you'll also be excited to know that Character A.I will be coming to Alexa, letting you talk to historical and fictional figures. Not particularly useful, but a lot of fun.
It's nice to see Alexa given a bit more personality as she approaches her 10th birthday, particularly with AI chatbots booming in popularity and performance.