Amazon launched Alexa with the largest film star in India, Amitabh Bachchan, as the corporation pushes the world’s second most populous country to attract more users.
“Working with Amazon to introduce my voice on Alexa was a new experience in bringing together the magic of voice technology and artistic creativity.
I am excited that my well-wishers can now interact with me via this new medium, and looking forward to hearing how they feel about this,” said Bachchan in a statement.
The company, which racked up Samuel L. Jackson’s voice on Alexa in the U.S. in 2019, stated that in India consumers can add the voice of a Bollywood great for an introduction charge of 149 Indian rupees ($2) for the first year in their Echo or Amazon shopping app. (Annual price is set to shift to $4 from the second year.)
The 78-year-old actor gives his life tales, a selection of his father’s poems, his language styles and motivating quotations to Amazon.
Customers from Amazon can also ask for Alexa to music, set alarms, update the weather and get replies in the trademark style of Bachchan.
In order to make Alexa sound like Bachchan even without a direct pre-recording the company also applied the neural voice technology. (Amit ji, remind me of asking you later today on the situation of Amazon’s antitrust in India.)
In the 1970s, Bachchan became the first celebrity in Bollywood to play characters fighting corruption and social injustice as a household name.
In the course of a UNICEF-supported polio campaign, he has also published numerous advertising for products and initiatives including hair oil, cooking, cold drinks, gemstones, State-related tourism and banks.
Last year, a Bollywood legend was unveiled in partnership. But Amazon’s technical teams have been forced into this pandemic by remote work. Further difficulties also occurred.
Using a one-word wake alarm (‘Alexa’) can trigger Alexa worldwide. But Amazon introduced a 2-word wake-system in the instance of Bachchan, Alexa: “Amit ji” (which means “ji” is the Hindi word to show respect).
India for Amazon is an important international market, deploying over $6.5 billion and investing more and more in startups. Bachchan has not joined up for one of its companies for the first time.
Also read: Top 10 Gadgets to Buy From Amazon India
“At Amazon and Alexa, we consistently innovate on behalf of our customers and building the Amitabh Bachchan celebrity voice experience with one of India’s most iconic voices has been a labor of love.
Creating the world’s first bilingual celebrity voice required us to invent and reinvent across almost every element of speech science — wake word, speech recognition, neural text-to-speech and more,” said Puneesh Kumar, country leader for Alexa, Amazon India, in a statement.
“While we are proud of the many India-first innovations and desi-delighters in this, it’s still day one, and we will continue to enrich this experience as science evolves.”
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