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Amazon rolls out generative AI to Alexa, but it's not for everyone
- Amazon has rolled out its new conversational AI feature for Alexa devices.
- Dubbed Explore with Alexa, the feature is predominantly made for kids.
Voice assistants are endlessly helpful for adults, allowing us to convert units, query tomorrow’s weather and tasks, and play our favorite music with audio commands. But what about kids? Amazon is now rolling out its new generative AI-powered Explore with Alexa experience, mainly focused on entertaining and growing budding minds.
The feature was first detailed in September, but it’s officially available for public use today for those subscribed to the premium Amazon Kids Plus service. This means it’s only officially available in a handful of regions.
So, how does Explore with Alexa work? Essentially, when a child asks Alexa or any other smart speaker about a topic, like an animal, it responds with facts and trivia from vetted sources. The answers are structured to encourage a child to continue asking more questions about that topic, and Alexa may ask kids if they’d like to hear additional details in specific contexts.
Explore with Alexa might sound like Alexa for Kids, but the new experience differs in how it answers questions. It’s more conversational, uses more digestible words and concepts, and seems more narrative in its responses. The experience employs a “protected version” of Amazon’s language model and generative AI smarts to achieve this desired effect.
Amazon notes that the feature will continue to expand its knowledge base and include video content for supported devices. The company is also working on allowing adults to personalize the experience for kids. When these generative AI features will be used for everyday speech with Alexa remains to be seen.