Samuel L. Jackson Can Soon Take Alexa’s Place on Your Amazon Echo

Published: September 30, 2019

I still have no desire to bring an Amazon Echo or other such devices into my home anytime soon—but leave it to Samuel L. Jackson to figure out a way to make me at least think twice about it. [related]

Amazon announced this week that the Pulp Fiction star will soon lend his legendary vocal talents to its virtual assistant, Alexa—and I can’t stop thinking about how much fun it would be to hear that cheerful, profanity-laced voice answer [or blow off] every question I ask it.

Samuel L. Jackson

In fact, it seems someone else had imagined the possibility of Jackson as a celebrity Echo voice a couple of years ago, as the video above shows.

Fair warning: only click play if there are no kids around and you’re wearing headphones. This probably isn’t suitable for your conference or break room.

Alexa and Samuel L. Jackson Team Up

While Alexa has featured celebrity voices like Gordon Ramsay in the past, those Skills have only included a handful of pre-recorded phrases.

The Guardian reports that this time, Amazon is using neural text-to-speech technology that can actually mimic Jackson’s voice.

That means you can really feel like you’re getting the current weather forecast from Hollywood’s highest-grossing actor himself. Jackson will be able to play music, set your alarm, sing you a “Happy Birthday” song and more.

But the Oscar nominee won’t be able to help with shopping, reminders, lists, or other common Alexa Skills. Jackson’s proclivity for foul language will also be incorporated into his Alexa alter-ego: You can set your device to allow him to swear in his responses.

Now the person who’s launching that conference call in the boardroom won’t be the only one dropping F-bombs.

Amazon will launch the Samuel L. Jackson voice technology later this year for an introductory price of $0.99, before eventually bumping it up to $4.99.

If getting shouted at by Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t sound particularly appealing to you, just be patient. Amazon hinted that more celebrity voices are on their way, though it didn’t drop any hints about which ones.

If you’re a holdout on smart speakers like me, whose voice would be enough to convince you to soften your stance?

Posted in: Video

Tagged with: Alexa, Amazon, Amazon Echo

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