AMAZON INTRODUCES ALEXA WITH AMITABH BACHCHAN’S VOICE IN INDIA

Amazon has added Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s voice to its virtual assistant Alexa in the news that will thrill Bollywood fanatics. According to a blog post, the latest feature is created by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) with the help of deep learning, deep neural network-based models, and text-to-speech (TTS).

Users can now listen to Big B’s voice on Amazon’s Alexa at an introductory price of Rs 149 for a year. It is available for purchase directly from the Amazon site and shopping app.

Here’s how users can enable this feature to start conversations with Bachchan:

  • All one has to say is, “Alexa, introduce me to Amitabh Bachchan” to get started with the 78-year-old superstar’s voice and listen to the instructions.

  • After confirming the purchase, say, “Alexa, enable Amit Ji to wake word” to enable this feature on Echo devices.

  • Android users can visit the Alexa section under the Settings tab on the Amazon shopping app and enable the ‘Amit Ji wake word.

  • You can now request the superstar to bring you music, jokes, tongue-twisters, poetry, and more.

To explore more, users can also ask, “Amit Ji, what can you do?”

Users can, for example, ask, “Amit Ji, play songs from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham” or “Amit Ji, Sholay ke gaane bajaiye” to listen to tracks from his movies.

The e-commerce giant will also extend Bachchan’s signature speaking style to the music, alarms, and weather updates.

In a bid to expand the voice assistant’s user base in India, the tech giant initially introduced the feature in the US with the voice of American actor and producer Samuel L Jackson in 2019. The Amazon-Amitabh Bachchan partnership for Alexa was formally announced in September last year, under which the company worked to bring Bachchan’s voice on Alexa over the last few months. But the pandemic induced work-from-home situations across the globe, and hence, Amazon’s engineering teams worked remotely for this project.

An additional complication with the project was that users could so far trigger Alexa by just saying ‘Alexa.’ Still, to bring Bachchan on board, Amazon had to introduce a two-word wake system for Alexa: “Amit Ji.”

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