Have you grown weary of your current Alexa voice setting? Maybe adding some Samuel L Jackson to your day would help.
Amazon will add more celebrity guest voices to the platform in 2020, Variety reports. Alexa’s Jackson “voice pack” will be available later this year for a special 99 cent intro price, in both clean and explicit versions.
Hmm. Well that certain spices things up.
Amazon was able to include Jackon’s voice due to a new Neural Text-to-Speech technology the company developed. This will make Alexa’s voice sound more human, with better emotive and expressive speech. The technology will also allow Alexa to replicate speech inflections of actual people, as well.
To install the Jackson voice pack, users can say, “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson,” and decide whether they want him to use explicit or censored language. Alexa has featured celebrity voices before, like morning greetings from Chelsea Handler or a duet with Ed Sheeran, though they necessitated pre-recorded audio.
According to Variety, Samuel L. Jackson inked a deal with Amazon to provide first celebrity voice option for Alexa, its cloud-based digital assistant.
“Jackson’s baritone is coming to Alexa thanks to a new Neural Text-to-Speech technology developed by Amazon, announced at the company’s Amazon Devices event in Seattle Wednesday. That’s designed to make Alexa’s default female voice more human-sounding, with more emotive and expressive speech. It also lets Alexa replicate speech inflections of real people, too — meaning Jackson’s voice on Alexa will be synthesized, rather than delivered as pre-recorded words or phrases,” reports Variety.
Amazon also introduced other features for Alexa, including a multilingual mode for bilingual speakers. In the U.S., it will support English and Spanish, while in Canada, customers can choose English and French. In India, users will be able to select English and Hindi.
In addition, General Motors announced that it will integrate Alexa into its vehicle brands starting next year, with upgrades available starting with 2018 models, that will let drivers control navigation and in-car entertainment systems as well as linked smartphones. GM joins automakers including Toyota, BMW and Ford that have signed on to support Alexa.