Celebrity Voices on Alexa Discontinued

Attention all Alexa users! Have you ever wanted to have a conversation with Samuel L. Jackson, Melissa McCarthy, or Shaquille O’Neal? Well, unfortunately, you can no longer do so. Amazon has removed the celebrity voices from the Alexa skill library, and they are no longer available for purchase. But why? Keep reading to find out the scoop on this surprising change.

A Time for Reflection: The Alexa Celebrity Voices

Samuel L. Jackson, the first celebrity voice for Alexa, debuted in 2019 with his own signature “Hey Samuel” wake word and offered either a PG or R-rated format with swearing. Adding to Jackson’s voice, Amazon expanded its Alexa cast list in 2020 with the addition of Shaquille O’Neal and Melissa McCarthy. However, due to an unknown reason, Amazon has removed all three voices from the Alexa skill library, rendering them unavailable for purchase.

Creating the voices for the three celebrities took an estimated 60 hours of recording. Using Amazon’s neural text-to-speech (NTTS) technology, Alexa learned how to mimic each celebrity’s voice, making them sound as authentic as possible. The celebrity voices were able to answer questions about the weather, stream music, or tell jokes and stories- all with their signature dialogue, of course.

A Tribute to Amitabh Bachchan

While Samuel L. Jackson, Melissa McCarthy, and Shaquille O’Neal’s voices may be gone, Alexa still has to offer a celebrity voice in India. In the fall of 2020, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan joined the celebrity list for Indian users, speaking in both Hindi and English. However, as with the other celebrity voices, this feature will only be available to those who purchased it until its removal date.

Why Did Amazon Remove the Celebrity Voices?

Amazon has not provided any reasoning behind the removal of the celebrity voices. However, speculation surrounds the significant revenue loss associated with the voice assistant and Amazon’s layoffs this year, which may be contributing factors.

While it’s unfortunate that users can no longer interact with their favorite celebrities through Alexa, the good news is that Amazon is providing refunds through customer service to those who want one. So, if you were a big fan of Samuel L. Jackson or any other celebrity voices for Alexa, make sure to reach out to Amazon for a refund before it’s too late.

In conclusion, whether you were a loyal Alexa user who enjoyed conversing with Samuel L. Jackson’s R-rated voice or were excited to have Amitabh Bachchan speak to you in Hindi, the celebrity voice update is something to reflect upon and mourn. Although Alexa will continue to improve and change over time, it may be challenging to fill the void left behind by the charming and unique celebrity voices.

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