Amazon’s Alexa Division Downsizing Amidst AI Race, Tens of Thousands Affected

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Amazon's Alexa Division Downsizing Amidst AI Race, Tens of Thousands Affected

The Amazon Alexa division, responsible for Amazon’s voice assistant, is reportedly downsizing, according to Bloomberg. These cutbacks come amid a tumultuous year for Amazon, which has already seen approximately 36,000 job reductions.

Reportedly, the voice assistant Alexa, utilized in Echo speakers and other Amazon devices, is struggling to keep up with new AI systems like ChatGPT. While excelling at basic tasks such as playing music, Alexa reportedly faces challenges in broadening its software capabilities, as per the Bloomberg report.

According to the report, Amazon is attempting to equip Alexa with more generative AI functions. However, this process is proving difficult and costly. Amazon aims to significantly ramp up its AI development to catch up with frontrunners like ChatGPT, requiring apparent cost-cutting measures in other areas.

Amazon to Lay Off Tens of Thousands

This recent round of layoffs follows the substantial reductions Amazon has previously implemented. After extensive pandemic-related hirings in preceding years, the company began layoffs in early 2023, affecting over 27,000 employees.

An additional 9,000 positions were cut in March, primarily in the realms of human resources, advertising, and cloud services. Besides the Alexa division, recent job cuts have also affected Amazon’s music and gaming departments. The company’s clothing stores have been completely shut down as well.

Employees in the United States and Canada were informed about the job cuts on November 17. Those affected in Alexa in India are slated to receive information about their fate in the coming week.

The abrupt reductions within the Alexa division point to the mounting challenges Amazon faces in the realm of voice technology. With artificial intelligence evolving rapidly, there’s a risk that without further advancements, Alexa could become outdated.

READ MORE: OpenAI Leadership Shake-Up: CEO Ousted, Vision Clash Sparks Major Resignation Ripples

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Carl Woodrow
A seasoned tech enthusiast and writer, Carl delves deep into emerging technologies, offering insightful analysis and reviews on the latest gadgets and trends.