New Voice for Smart Speakers Evokes Hard-Edged Movie Roles

Say you decided you want to pull a prank on your spouse or significant other. So you download the Samuel L. Jackson app and tell Alexa to wake you at 7 a.m. as usual. Your bedmate wakes up to the booming sound of Jackson’s special brand of profanity, telling him or her to “rise and shine m*therf*cker.” Or at least that’s what we imagine he’d say. and both had articles about the new feature this week. Kurt Schlosser with writes of the unique sound of the actor:

“I’m in the cloud, baby!” Only Samuel L. Jackson, the longtime Hollywood star with a distinct voice and vocabulary, could introduce himself through a smart speaker in such a way.

But that’s what he did on Thursday when Amazon introduced the celeb as a fun way to change-up its Alexa voice assistant experience. Using its Neural Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology, Amazon allows Jackson to give voice to such things as local weather reports, jokes, movie trivia and much more.

The app also allows users to “keep it clean or don’t.” If they choose the profane version, Sam will use explicit language. “If you ever change your mind, you can toggle between clean and explicit content in the settings menu of the Alexa App.”

Here are a few examples that will involve you in a conversation of sorts with Mr. Jackson

Get to know Samuel L. Jackson
“Alexa, ask Samuel if he has a favorite hobby.”
“Alexa, ask Samuel if he likes music.”
“Alexa, ask Samuel what he does when he’s not making movies.”
“Alexa, ask Samuel what his greatest achievement is.”
“Alexa, ask Samuel if he always wanted to be an actor.”

Ask Samuel about Life in Hollywood
“Alexa, ask Samuel what it was like making Star Wars.”
“Alexa, ask Samuel how he got the part of Nick Fury.”
“Alexa, ask Samuel how he got his big break.”
“Alexa, ask Samuel for the secret to his success.”

His answers will either amuse or shock you. Either way, it’s only 99 cents to get started on Amazon. The price will go up after the first of the year to $4.99.

The voice doesn’t entirely replace Alexa’s voice on your device. Instead, it offers another option. That means to have Samuel L. Jackson actually be the one to respond to you you’ll need to specify that when you ask a question, using Alexa as the middleman.

Perhaps you have not heard but you can get Morgan Freeman’s voice to guide you on your GPS as well. Too bad Louis Armstrong is gone, he would have been fun to wake up to as well. Celebrity Chef and insult pro Gordon Ramsay also has a voice app available.


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