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Don’t expect overhauled Alexa soon as Amazon reportedly struggles with generative AI

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Android Authority –

Amazon Echo Alexa speaker stock photo (3)

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

  • A new report suggests that Amazon is struggling to develop a large language model (LLM) that can compete with OpenAI, Google.
  • The model is set to power an already-announced Alexa upgrade that brings conversational abilities to the assistant.
  • Limited data sets and a lack of vision stalled progress, leading to the exit of many talented researchers and scientists.

A new report has come to light that suggests Amazon’s generative AI-powered Alexa is nowhere near completion and may never even see the light of day. The report, compiled by Fortune through interviews with over a dozen former employees, lists several hurdles that the company has faced while developing its conversational AI. Amazon demoed its next-generation Alexa late last year and promised to launch a limited preview in the US “soon.” Eight months have passed, however, with no sign of the new Alexa.

According to the report, the lack of high-quality data has slowed down Amazon’s large language model (LLM) efforts tremendously. The e-commerce company lacks extensive datasets as it doesn’t operate a search engine like Google or social networks like Meta. As a result, its LLM was trained on just three trillion tokens — the smallest unit of data in a language model. For comparison, OpenAI’s GPT-4 model is believed to have been trained on 13 trillion tokens.


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