AMAZON swaps its celebrity voices for Alexa, and users first say goodbye with the iconic sound of Samuel L. Jackson.
Shaquille O’Neal and Melissa McCarthy will also disappear from Alexa devices as Amazon is already blocking purchases of these devices.
While Jackson’s voice will stop working on Alexa devices as early as June 7, according to The Verge, others will be around a little longer.
McCarthy and Shaq’s voices will continue to be available through September 30 of this year.
“After three years, we are turning off celebrity voices,” Amazon spokesman Eric Sveum told The Verge.
“Customers can continue to use these voices for a limited time and can contact our customer service team for a refund.”
The voices were quite cheap, initially costing $0.99 at launch before rising to $4.99.
Customers worldwide are entitled to a refund.
However, you must request a refund of the votes yourself if you want a refund.
It’s unclear why Amazon removed the feature from Alexa devices.
Customers enjoyed having a familiar, human voice at home, as opposed to the robotic timbre of Alexa.
The celebrity voice actors used Amazon’s neural text-to-speech model to generate cheeky — and sometimes explicit — responses, rather than relying on pre-recorded responses.
According to a recent Insider report, the company is reportedly considering using Alexa as the basis for its own Large Language Model (LLM) to compete with ChatGPT.
However, Amazon’s Alexa division has struggled to contain operating losses, which have exceeded $5 million in recent years, the Wall Street Journal revealed in November.
The company also announced layoffs of 18,000 employees earlier this year, according to CNBC, with about 2,000 of those cuts affecting the hardware division responsible for Alexa and Echo products.
The best tips and hacks for phones and gadgets
Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find these secret features in social media apps? We are here for you…
Get the latest WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and other tech gadget stories here.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at email@example.com