Amazon has announced that the voice of actor Samuel L Jackson and other celebrities will soon be used by its virtual assistant Alexa.
Amazon said that Alexa will now be able to mimic the voice of Jackson and other celebrities and this additional feature will be available for $0.99 per voice. According to the company, it would use a “neural text-to-speech” engine to mimic celebrities’ voices on Alexa-powered devices using recordings that they provide as basis for other computer-generated utterances.
Alexa users will have the option of choosing a version of Avengers actor Samuel L Jackson who swears or another who does not. Amazon claims that other celebrities will follow and will be paid for their services.
Aside from the new voices, the company has launched a myriad of new products and services that use Alexa.
Amazon’s Echo range of speakers is will have a larger high-end version with Dolby Atmos for “3D sound”. It has also extended the Echo range to other wearable technologies for both humans and pets.
These include the Echo Frames titanium-framed glasses that have built-in microphones and speakers to use Alexa, the Echo Buds wireless Bluetooth earbuds that feature noise-reduction tech, and the Fetch pet tracker designed to attach to a dog collar.
The company also announced that its Alexa virtual assistant would be integrated into General Motors’ vehicles starting 2020 while existing models may opt to upgrade and include the feature.
Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS Insight, said: “This avalanche of new products underlines Amazon’s desire to extend Alexa’s reach to every part of people’s lives – be that in the home, or on the move via new Echo Buds or in the car through the deal with General Motors. Not only will it will strengthen Amazon’s reach with existing customers that use Alexa-powered products, it will also provide the opportunity to woo more consumers to embrace its increasingly ubiquitous voice assistant.”