According to a new report, Amazon missed an opportunity to dominate AI.

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In the voice-assistant arms race, the front-runner may end up last. Apple is unveiling a new “Apple Intelligence”-powered Siri at its WWDC 2024 conference, a new report says. good fortune indicates that Amazon's Alexa — arguably the most current of voice assistants — is struggling with its creative AI transformation:

… None of the sources good fortune spoke with confidence that Alexa is close to fulfilling Amazon's mission to become “the world's best personal assistant.” Instead, Amazon's Alexa runs the risk of becoming a digital relic with a cautionary tale—a potentially game-changing technology that got caught playing the wrong game.

The lengthy report (which is paywalled but fully syndicated to Yahoo Finance) draws from interviews with more than a dozen former employees, who recounted stories of organizational dysfunction combined with technical challenges that led to the company's collapse. Blow your shot to dominate the AI. good fortune Amazon has responded to the claims by saying that the details provided by the employees are dated and do not reflect the current status of Alexa LLM, reports said.

However, things don't seem to be going smoothly for the newly souped-up Alexa. The more conversational, context-aware voice assistant the company demoed at its fall hardware event last year hasn't gotten beyond a limited preview yet. And, according to of luck Reporting, while Amazon may eventually launch a better LLM-based Alexa, it won't be anywhere near what it could have been.

“Alexa, are you feeling okay?” A report from good fortune says the new Alexa has some serious growing pains.
Image: Amazon

Interviews by many former employees good fortune He said he left in part because he believed the new Alexa would never be ready or that it would already be overtaken by competitors if and when it did launch. Its biggest weakness, compared to companies like OpenAI and its headline-grabbing chat GPT, is that it has to “navigate the existing tech stack and defend the existing feature set”. good fortune.

Basically, the old Alexa is getting in the way of the new Alexa. good fortuneSources say Amazon hasn't yet figured out what Alexa can do now with the capabilities it introduced last fall for the new Alexa — a better, smarter, more conversational one. Assistant An employee said good fortune That the company's message after the demo event was that “we basically need to burn the bridge with the old Alexa AI model and just work on the new one.”

The message on Amazon was that “we basically need to burn the bridge with the old Alexa AI model and just work on the new one.”

According to good fortune, Amazon has succeeded in getting its Alexa LLM to consistently and efficiently make API calls, the way existing Alexa interacts with your other things, such as third-party smart home devices and music services. It also struggles to train LLMs to understand natural language, since it has millions of devices in the wild, its users have trained themselves to speak in “Alexa language” and the device do not communicate with

Another reported obstacle is Amazon's decentralized organizational structure, with the thousands of people working on Alexa locked into several teams, causing friction and frustration. Mihail Eric, a research scientist who left the company in 2021, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he blamed the company's org chart and insistence research on the failure of his work on Alexa tied to product launches. Hangs up. , “If done correctly, an Amazon ChatGPT could have originated (before ChatGPT was released).”

For its part, Amazon says it's committed to the development of its voice assistant. “Our vision for Alexa is the same – to build the world's best personal assistant,” said Amazon's Christy Schmidt. the edge in response to of luck The article “Generative AI presents a huge opportunity to make Alexa even better for our customers. We've already integrated Generative AI into various Alexa components, and are working hard on a large-scale implementation. — in more than half a billion Alexa-enabled devices already in homes around the world — to make what we're building even more functional, personal, and reliable We are excited about and look forward to making it available to our customers.

Whatever past missteps, it's clear that Amazon is racing to catch up. The former head of equipment and services, Dave Lump, left shortly after the incident that fall. His replacement — former Microsoft chief product officer, Panos Panay — has been around for a little more than six months. Fall 2024 is just around the corner. Let's see if Amazon can deliver on any of its promises.

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