Amazon Alexa announced earlier that it will add more sounds to its device. As part of this, in India Alexa has rolled out one of the most popular actors of India Amitabh Bachchan’s voice on its device. Amazon expects that this move will attract more users in India.
Amazon had earlier rolled out the voice of Samuel Jackson on Alexa. This was available in the U.S. since 2019. The company said that the users of Echo devices or Amazon shopping app can now add the voice of Amitabh Bachchan at Rs.149 ($2) for the first year. This is an introductory offer. After the first year, it will be charged at $4.
Bachchan’s voice will give life to stories from his life, poems of his fathers, some tongue twisters, and motivational quotes. Users can also ask Alexa to perform some actions and receive the answers in the signature style of Bachchan. The company is also working on a neural speech technology to reply to queries in Bachchan’s voice even if there’s no direct pre-recording.
Amitabh Bachchan said in a statement that “Working with Amazon to introduce my voice on Alexa was a new experience in bringing together the magic of voice technology and artistic creativity. I am excited that my well-wishers can now interact with me via this new medium, and looking forward to hear how they feel about this.”
This collaboration was announced last year but was delayed due to the pandemic. Alexa has introduced a two-word wake system- “Amit Ji” instead of the one-word wake alert ‘Alexa’.
Puneesh Kumar, Country Leader for Alexa, Amazon India, said that “At Amazon & Alexa, we consistently innovate on behalf of our customers and building the Amitabh Bachchan celebrity voice experience with one of India’s most iconic voices has been a labor of love. Creating the world’s first bi-lingual celebrity voice required us to invent & re-invent across almost every element of speech science – wake word, speech recognition, neural text-to-speech and more.”
He added that “While we are proud of the many India-first innovations and desi-delighters in this, it’s still Day 1 and we will continue to enrich this experience as science evolves.”
Amazon has found India as a key overseas market with over $6.5 billion investments and other investments in startups.