These are tough times on technology land, and it seems that no sector or business is immune. Even things we use almost every day, like Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, can face cuts, at least according to reports.
In the wake of the big tech companies tightening their belts, hiring slowed, and layoffs of thousands of workers (Opens in a new tab)Amazon, according to a new site The Wall Street Journal report (Opens in a new tab)takes a closer look at its revenue generating business which is worth about $200 billion annually to the unprofitable sectors and where they can cut back.
One area, according to the magazine, is Alexa. The eight-year-old digital assistant who set out with Amazon’s first Echohas become a staple of artificial intelligence around the world Selling nearly 50 million Echo (Opens in a new tab) In the United States alone. It was Alexa, not Apple’s own Siri digital assistant, that launched in 2011 that popularized personal digital assistants. Alexa also launched the Echo smart speaker concept.
The problem seems to be that Amazon is spending a lot of money on developing Alexa. The Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon loses $5 billion annually to a platform that is used only for a handful of activities.
Recent Alexa stats (Opens in a new tab) Note that most people use Alexa to set timers, play music, do some shopping, and ask basic questions. Some use it to control smart devices, but the majority of users are unlikely to dive into the tens of thousands of Alexa skills written for the open platform.
Amazon offline Work on developing more open conversation skills (Opens in a new tab) For Alexa, so it can look more like a person (it also opens up the skill set for third-party developers).
What the report does indicate, however, is that Amazon is trying to turn teams into more profitable parts of Amazon’s business. It’s not clear if Alexa is among those areas suffering from a drain on resources. In fact, Amazon told the Wall Street Journal that while it is “examining opportunities to improve costs,” it is “as optimistic about the future of Alexa today as we have ever been, and it continues to be an important business and investment area for Amazon.”
In other words, there is no direct indication from Amazon that its investment in Alexa is less than solid.
However, if consumers don’t start expanding how they use Alexa — and Amazon understands how you use it across many sites The best smart speakers He might eventually be looking to back off at least enough investment to give consumers time to keep up with AI technology as we all get through these tough economic times.