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Amazon announces a new large language model for Alexa

Amazon Alexa logo (Source: Amazon)
Amazon Alexa logo (Source: Amazon)
Thanks to the use of a custom-made large language model specifically aimed at voice interaction, the new Alexa AI can carry on even more natural conversations with its users than before. The update allows Amazon's virtual assistant to understand and fulfill more complex questions and requests.

Although the new Fire TV Stick 4K and Echo Show 8 3rd gen seem more important at first sight, Amazon's yesterday hardware launch event also included an essential AI-related announcement. The new Alexa AI will come in the future as a software update to some of the existing devices that work with this voice assistant already, but this still needs to be detailed by Amazon. 

At this time, Amazon revealed that the custom-build large language model (LLM) integrated in Alexa will allow it to understand more complex queries and requests. As a consequence, the whole user-Alexa interaction will feel more natural, thus this future update can be considered an IQ boost received by Amazon's virtual assistant. 

The personalized LLM mentioned above, claims Amazon, can provide real-time information that ChatGPT cannot while being faster and able to undestand more complex phrases than it as well. In the live demo carried by Andy Jassy, Alexa remembered that Vanderbilt University was his favorite football team, then wrote a reminder for Jassy's friends about the upcoming match of this team and sent it to his phone in a matter of seconds.

Amazon is planning to introduce the upgraded Alexa as "part of the family" for the users of this virtual assistant. However, these improvements are still under development and it might take at least a few more weeks for them to be integrate in the publicly available Alexa software.

Buy Alexa for Dummies (1st Edition, by Paul McFedries) on Amazon

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Codrut Nistor, 2023-09-21 (Update: 2023-09-21)