Amazon rolls out India’s first celebrity voice on Alexa with Amitabh Bachchan

Amazon has rolled out India’s first superstar voice characteristic on Alexa with the nation’s greatest film star Amitabh Bachchan as the corporate makes a push to lure extra customers on this planet’s second-most populated nation.

The corporate, which rolled out the voice of Samuel Jackson on Alexa within the U.S. in 2019, stated customers in India can add the Bollywood legend’s voice to their Echo gadgets (beginning immediately) or Amazon purchasing app (in just a few weeks) for an introductory worth of 149 Indian rupees ($2) a yr.

The 78-year-old actor is offering Amazon with tales from his life, a number of poems from his father, tongue twisters, and motivational quotes. Amazon prospects may ask Alexa to play music, set alarms, get climate updates and get solutions in Bachchan’s signature model.

And the corporate can even apply neural speech know-how to make Alexa sound like Bachchan whatever the query, the corporate stated. (Amit ji, remind me to ask you about Amazon’s antitrust situation in India later immediately.)

Picture credit: Amazon

“Working with Amazon to introduce my voice on Alexa was a brand new expertise in bringing collectively the magic of voice know-how and creative creativity. I’m excited that my well-wishers can now work together with me through this new medium, and looking out ahead to listen to how they really feel about this,” stated Bachchan in an announcement.

A family identify, Bachchan emerged as Bollywood’s prime star within the Seventies taking part in characters who battled corruption. He has additionally carried out scores of commercials for manufacturers and initiatives from all the things together with hair oil to UNICEF-backed polio vaccination marketing campaign.

The corporate introduced its collaboration with Bollywood legend final yr. However the pandemic compelled Amazon’s engineering groups to work remotely for this venture. There have been additionally further complexions. Globally, customers can set off Alexa with one-word wake alert. “Alexa, do that.” However in case of Bachchan, Amazon has introduce a two-word wake system to Alexa. “Amit ji.”

“At Amazon & Alexa, we constantly innovate on behalf of our prospects and constructing the Amitabh Bachchan superstar voice expertise with one in every of India’s most iconic voices has been a labor of affection. Creating the world’s first bi-lingual superstar voice required us to invent & re-invent throughout virtually each component of speech science – wake phrase, speech recognition, neural text-to-speech and extra,” stated Puneesh Kumar, Nation Chief for Alexa, Amazon India, in an announcement.

“Whereas we’re happy with the various India-first improvements and desi-delighters on this, it’s nonetheless Day 1 and we’ll proceed to complement this expertise as science evolves.”

India is a key abroad marketplace for Amazon, which has deployed over $6.5 billion and is more and more making investment in startups. This isn’t the primary time the corporate has signed up Bachchan for one in every of its companies. The corporate final yr acquired Bachchan’s “Gulabo Sitabo” film rights for streaming globally on Prime Video.

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