Alexa is adding Shaq and Melissa McCarthy as two new celebrity voice options
Shaq and Melissa McCarthy are joining the Alexa team.
UPDATE 5/31/2023: Amazon’s Alexa has had a brief flirtation with the stars, but it looks like their party is getting cut short. Amazon is retiring its celebrity voice feature for Alexa. It was fun while it lasted.
Some customers may find that Alexa’s normal voice can become somewhat boring or stale. Amazon has noted this, and the company is planning on adding a couple of new celebrity voices as options for Alexa users.
Following the incredibly popular addition of Samuel L. Jackson a couple of years ago, Amazon has decided to add a couple of new stars to its Alexa line-up. NBA Hall-of-Famer and four-time champion Shaquille O’Neal have joined the lineup alongside the hilarious, Oscar-nominated Melissa McCarthy.
Like the Samuel L. Jackson addition, these new voices won’t completely replace your Alexa’s voice. Instead, they are programmed for a few tasks, like telling you the weather or delivering unique jokes. Check out the voice samples below:
Both of these new additions are being rolled out in the US as we speak. They will cost $4.99 each and can be activated by using the wake phrase “Hey Melissa” or Hey Shaq.”
Again, these voices won’t be completely replacing the default Alexa voice. However, Amazon also stated that it is working on additional voice options for all of Alexa’s requests. In addition, the company said new voices will be coming soon, and you’ll be able to switch it up by just saying, “Alexa, change your voice.”
It looks like Amazon’s AI is continuing to advance with all of these complex additions to the AI’s functionality. The company is also adding a new wake word, “Ziggy,” that can be used to activate the device.
These are all pretty cool additions, and it will be interesting to see how Alexa evolves in the future. I’ll be happy just listening to Shaq and Melissa McCarthy telling my jokes for now.
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