Financial TimesFinancial Times

Amazon’s big dreams for Alexa fall short

By Dave Lee

04 Mar 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Voice assistants were once seen as the "next big thing" in tech, but now all the talk's about generative AI. So are Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant really just gloried alarm clocks? The FT reports.

It has been more than a decade since Jeff Bezos excitedly sketched out his vision for Alexa on a whiteboard at Amazon’s headquarters. His voice assistant would help do all manner of tasks, such as shop online, control gadgets, or even read kids a bedtime story.

But the Amazon founder’s grand vision of a new computing platform controlled by voice has fallen short. As hype in the tech world turns feverishly to generative AI as the “next big thing”, the moment has caused many to ask hard questions of the previous “next big thing” — the much-lauded voice assistants from Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others.

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