Amazon is in the midst of restructuring and the appointment of Rohit Prasad, Alexa’s father, as head of Amazon’s generative AI division provides a better understanding of the American giant’s strategy in the field of artificial intelligence in the broad sense.
Amazon is in turmoil and announced thousands of layoffs worldwide earlier this year. As we have already mentioned, the Alexa division is not spared, not to say that it is in full line of fire. However, Amazon does not seem to want to let go of Alexa and, at the same time, wants to take its share of the pie in the generative AI sector currently trusted by Google and OpenAI. Rohit Prasad’s appointment seems to finalize a process where Alexa and AI will do more than converge.
A nomination for a smarter AI closer to us?
Alexa is a technical success, but despite nearly 100 million Echo products sold worldwide, Amazon has failed to make it the industry leader. The voice assistant is currently in third place behind Siri and Google Assistant and is almost absent from the automotive world. In addition, over time, Alexa has not gained as much efficiency as its competitors, as we saw during our comparison of voice assistants.
In an interview given to TechCrunch in May 2023, Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, announced his desire to make Alexa the best personal assistant in the world. Admitting that this was a challenge and that only generative AI could help achieve it.
One area where Amazon is more discreet, but not inactive with the recent release of Bedrock, a suite of tools based on generative AI for its AWS customers. Amazon therefore has a solid technical foundation and the appointment of Rohit Prasad underlines that generative AI and Alexa are doomed to unite.
The announced objective is to develop a strong AI capable of human-like reasoning. The next AI revolution that will make it possible to offer a voice assistant that will be a real intelligent personal butler, as well as medical diagnostic solutions, or help design new technologies.
By linking its experience in the professional world, with AWS, and the general public, via Amazon and Alexa, the American giant simply wants to put itself in a position of strength to compete with Google, Facebook or OpenAI in the race for strong AIs. A bet on the duration and vital for a group which is not limited to a simple activity of online merchant.
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