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Amazon will begin designing its own AI chips

by Danny Zepeda | February 12, 2018February 12, 2018 3:00 pm PST

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is about to get a lot better. The retail giant has started designing AI chips that will go into devices powered by Alexa, potentially making interaction with the assistant faster and smoother.

According to The Information, the new AI chip will add speech recognition to Alexa devices. The current process of querying Alexa, even with simple tasks like asking for the time, requires the assistant to offshoot the question to the cloud. This results in a slight delay as it acquires the proper response. The new chip will take on a lot of that responsibility, improving interaction with the assistant significantly.

More complex questioning will still require Alexa to contact the cloud, but simple tasks won’t have to deal with the slight delay anymore.

Amazon’s pivot into making its own chips follows in the footsteps of Apple and Google. The online giant acquired chip designer Annapurna Labs in 2015 with the end goal of eventually making proprietary chips to enhance its services.

Amazon’s Echo line-up would be the first devices to get the new chip, but the report doesn’t state whether Amazon would let third-party companies use the chip.

The Information

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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