Amazon to Discontinue Alexa’s Celebrity Voices Even after Paying for Them

    Amazon has decided to discontinue its celebrity voices on Alexa. Amazon is no longer selling the voices of Shaquille o’Neal and Melisssa mccarthy, or Samuel L. Jackson.

    The voices cost $0.99 at launch, and then went up to $4.99. However, many users thought they would have access to them for a longer period of time. adds the personality to Alexa devices, allowing you to use the “Hey (celebrity’s name]” command in order to ask questions, listen to jokes or stories, all done in the style Jackson, Shaq or McCarthy. The voice of Jackson is no longer available on customer devices.

    On Jackson’s page, a note states that “Samuel L. Jackson’s Alexa voice is not available for purchase.” Customers who have purchased the experience can continue to use it until April 2023. They do this by saying “Hey Samuel.” Amazon also posted similar messages for McCarthy, and the voices of Shaq. However, they say that support will continue until September 30th. We reached out to Amazon for further information and will update this article when we receive a response

    Amazon began offering Jackson’s Voice in 2019. This uses Amazon’s neural Text-to-Speech model, rather than prerecorded responses, to generate fun and sometimes explicit responses. then introduced the voices McCarthy and Shaq. They are limited to what they can do, though, since they cannot respond to shopping lists, reminders or skills.

    Amazon may have discontinued the feature for reasons that are not entirely clear, but this could be an indication of Amazon’s Alexa’s overall woes. A report by The Wall Street Journal in November revealed that Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy had scrutinized its Alexa sector because it was losing money. Amazon announced earlier this year that it would be laying off 18,000 employees . Amazon Hardware Chief Dave Limp told CNBC that of these layoffs, 2,000 were in his division which is responsible for Alexa and Echo devices.

    A recent report by Insider suggests that the company is planning to rework Alexa in light of the growth of ChatGPT. It may use its large language model (LLM), to make Alexa more proactive and conversational.

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