While Amazon’s digital voice assistant, Alexa, has been around for a while, so far it has been pretty much overshadowed by the big names like Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri. On top of that, Amazon chose to keep Alexa limited to its high end Echo speaker devices until recently which seriously stifled their growth and market exposure.
However, that seems to be changing now as the world of digital voice assistants evolves, with more and more options popping up and Amazon taking leaps when it comes to improving Alexa. Despite Google holding a massive market share and companies being familiar with Google Assistant, Amazon doesn’t seem fazed and instead of closing up shop, they are rising to the challenge.
Sources have hinted that in order to stay ahead of the curve, Amazon is rapidly expanding its AI division that works on developing Alexa. The current staff that works on the AI assistant is around 3,000 but the company is looking to expand that by at least 50% and hire individuals who can work exclusively on the assistant.
On top of these recent hires, Amazon has also appointed a new executive to head Alexa, Tom Taylor, who will work towards innovation when it comes to the AI instead of keeping it limited to Echo devices. It is clear that Tom has a vision for that growth as he recently partnered up with Microsoft so that both Alexa and Cortana can work together.
Of course, this partnership won’t automatically give Amazon a leg up in the competition as Google’s assistant is not only being preferred by a lot of companies simply because of its maturity but also the rival AI is embedded into the Android ecosystem which happens to be the most used smartphone OS, reaching almost 2 billion users.