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Amazon Is Working On Its Own Custom AI Chips For Alexa: Report

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Alexa promises to speed things up soon following reports that Amazon is working on its own processing chip that will power the smart assistant's artificial intelligence (AI) features.

If true, Amazon is heading on the same path taken before by rivals Apple and Google. The latter two have developed AI chips that made Siri and Google Assistant more efficient and a little faster in terms of response time.

It seems now that Amazon is looking to bring Alexa on par with or even better than the competition. The solution that the company sees is an AI custom hardware that will fire up the digital helper's smart capabilities, The Information reported.

"The chip should allow Alexa-powered devices to respond more quickly to commands, by allowing more data processing to be handled on the device than in the cloud," the publication claimed on its report.

A person with access to Amazon's plans provided the credible information, the report further indicated.

Amazon's AI Push

When the project gets under way, it is believed that Amazon will deploy first its in-house AI chips with the Echo line of smart speakers. With speech recognition chip integrated with the devices, Alexa is seen to gain considerable speed when working with users, as the assistant will only need to access the cloud for more complicated tasks.

In addition, Amazon is likely to implement its AI blueprint on more products and services. One possible candidate is the Amazon Web Services (AWS) that is now in the process of beefing up its own ranks of chip engineers. The latter development seems a solid indicator that the AWS will soon benefit from AI-related feature bumps.

Further proof that Amazon is going full swing on AI include the recent acquisitions made by the company. In the past three years, the e-commerce firm spent hundreds of millions to purchase Annapurna Labs and security camera maker Blink, the moves indicating that Amazon is dead serious on advancing its own AI knowledge base.

Also, as stated in The Information's report, the company has already 450 employees with expertise on the subject, again signifying that Amazon is well on its way to become an AI leader.

Forward Looking

Prior to Amazon training its attention on AI, Apple and Google have already developed their own respective chips that further pushed the envelope on AI functionalities. The latest from Apple is the neural engine that was integrated with the A11 Bionic chip that powers that 2017 iPhone and iPad models.

For its part, Google boasts of the smart image processor that was unpacked with the Pixel 2 phones last year. Clearly, these are AI baby steps that Amazon is looking to follow and possibly overtake in the future.

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