Amazon was kind of late to the digital assistant game, but they still managed to gain a very respectable foothold in the market. This is largely thanks to Amazon making Alexa open to developers from the jump, plus their affordable Echo speakers. Now it looks like Amazon is planning to revamp Alexa with AI features and start charging for it.
Business Insider is reporting that later this year, Amazon will be giving Alexa a revamp. The company plans to introduce AI features to the digital assistant and charge users to use it. Apparently this new version of Alexa will be known as “Alexa Plus”, which suggests that maybe the regular Alexa will still remain free, but users who want the upgraded model will have to pay for it.
This is starting to become a disturbing trend. Samsung recently introduced new AI features in their recently launched Galaxy S24 smartphones. Samsung’s own website later indicated that the company might begin charging users for some of these AI tools in the future.
At the same time, we can’t say we’re too surprised. AI is not cheap. There is a lot of investment involved in its development. Not to mention the servers that Amazon will have to run to process it. All of that costs money, so we can’t really fault Amazon for considering charging users to use its new Alexa AI.
The report claims that this new “Alexa Plus” could arrive as soon as the 30th of June. Hopefully we’ll have more details soon.