New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Amazon has confirmed the discontinuation of the celebrity voices feature on Alexa, meaning voices of celebrities like megastar Amitabh Bachchan, American actor Samuel L. Jackson, American former professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, among others, will no longer be available to purchase.
The feature is going away globally, plus Amazon will discontinue support for celebrity voices on Alexa-powered devices in the coming days.
While purchasing Bachchan’s voice on Alexa, the page stated, “This skill is no longer available for purchase. Customers who previously purchased this experience will continue to have access for one year from the date of purchase”.
On purchasing Jackson’s voice on Alexa, the page mentioned that the personality voice for Alexa is no longer available for purchase, and the customers who previously purchased the experience may continue to use the skill until April 30, 2023, by saying “Hey Samuel”.
Jackson was the first voice to be introduced and could tell users jokes and stories or answer questions.
The celebrity voices, which debuted in 2019, make use of Amazon’s neural text-to-speech model, which employs machine learning and is intended to sound more lifelike. Rather than using pre-recorded responses, the model generates voices with entertaining personalities.
In 2020, the feature came to India, and Bachchan became the first celebrity voice for Alexa in the country.