Amazon is firing “several hundred” employees in its Alexa division. Notably, Amazon has decided to power-equip Alexa to be as smart and modern as AI chatbots like Bard and ChatGPT.

Amazon is firing several hundred employees

Amazon will be bidding goodbyes to several employees, read an internal memo obtained by Geekwire. “As we continue to invent, we’re shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities, and what we know matters most to customers—which includes maximizing our resources and efforts focused on generative AI,” read an email from Daniel Rausch, Alexa and Fire TV vice president.

Raush added that the shift could be the reason why the company is letting go of several hundred “roles” employees. Engadget reached out to the company, and a spokesperson confirmed that this is indeed happening.

What’s next for Alexa with Gen AI?

Amazon recently announced that it will revamp Alexa with capabilities that mirror those of ChatGPT. Therefore, the Large Language Model will power up the update. Notably, ChatGPT also uses LLM technology.

Amazon’s SVP of Devices & Services, David Limp, emphasized that this latest model is specifically tailored for voice interactions. It caters to the preferences of Amazon’s customers, including real-time information access, efficient smart home control, and enhanced home entertainment experiences.

Alexa is getting a major update

Alexa is receiving a major update. So, it will kill the need to say the wake word “Alexa” for every request. Users will be able to issue complex commands. This includes instructing Alexa to prepare the house for bedtime every weekday at 9 PM, dim the lights, lock the doors, and adjust the temperature. All that with a single utterance. Moreover, Alexa will also focus on enhanced conversational capabilities.

Amazon’s workforce has been steadily shrinking over the past year. Because the company has implemented large-scale cutbacks for the first time in its history. The latest round of layoffs affected 180 employees in the gaming division, including the entire staff of Crown, a company-backed Twitch channel. This follows similar job cuts in the music streaming unit and gaming divisions. The cutbacks began a year ago and a total of 27,000 employees have been laid off since then.

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