The purge continues in the technology sector, and at Amazon in particular. Hundreds of layoffs have been announced within the Alexa division, shaken by the wave of generative artificial intelligence.
Alexa is in a reinvention phase, like all the other assistants instantly made obsolete by ChatGPT and generative AI. Amazon unveiled its plans last September with a “new” Alexa powered by in-house language models – there is even a plan for a paid subscription to access the most advanced functions.
Alexa doesn’t make a recipe
For Amazon, it’s a bit of a last-ditch operation to save soldier Alexa. The assistant is expensive and doesn’t bring in much, worse still, it’s a financial drain. The “devices and services” division, which includes Alexa and Amazon’s family of connected products, reportedly suffered a loss of $10 billion last year!
Read “The colossal failure” of Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant
The switch to generative AI will perhaps make it possible to revive Alexa. While waiting for this brain transplant to produce its first results, Amazon orchestrates further restructuring of Assistant teams in the United States, Canada and India. “ We are shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities and what matters most to our customers “, writes Daniel Rausch, vice president of Alexa and Fire TV.
And the priority right now is generative AI. In the memo intercepted by GeekWirethe manager announces “ changes [qui] lead us to abandon certain initiatives, which results in the elimination of several hundred positions “. It does not specify the exact number of departures.
This is not the first time that a significant cut has been made in the workforce of the “devices and services” division; this was already the case last year. This new cart is also in addition to those announced at the beginning of January (18,000 positions), then in March (9,000 positions).