New U.S. customers can subscribe to Alexa Emergency Assist for $5.99 per month or $59 per year. Guard Plus customers will instead get access to Alexa Emergency Assist for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. This is just one of 18 new features added to Alexa.

Amazon Boosts Alexa with AI-Powered Additional Features for Better Conversational Interaction

With most of the headlines being gobbled up by ChatGPT or several other AI platforms, it should be no surprise that Amazon has boosted the AI in operating Alexa.

As helpful or playful as Alexa may be, the engineers found 18 different additions to gift their Alexa customers. In an article that on, Amazon lists the 18 changes or coming additions. We will share the first 3.

Generative AI and Alexa

Amazon is introducing a more conversational and intuitive Alexa, powered by its new large language model custom-built for voice interactions. The company says this will, “dramatically improve the things we know customers love, making it easier and more natural than ever before to get trending information, efficiently control smart home devices, and maximize home entertainment experiences.”

1. More natural conversations
You can have much more natural, fluid conversations with Alexa, and traverse a range of topics—for example, diving deep about last night’s baseball game or a new artist before asking Alexa to play their music. New conversational capabilities let customers who have opted into Visual ID start a conversation with Alexa by simply facing the screen, no wake word is needed.

2. Intuitive smart home control
With this new Alexa LLM, Alexa will be able to process multiple smart home requests at the same time and even infer what you mean when an utterance doesn’t match specific device names and spaces. The next-generation LLM will also enable Alexa to process nuance and ambiguity. For example, saying, “Alexa, it’s too bright in here,” would prompt Alexa to dim the lights. And, saying,

“Alexa, close all the blinds, and turn off all the lights, except for the ones in the living room” would trigger multiple simultaneous actions while understanding the exception of keeping the living room lights on.

3. Eye Gaze on Alexa
This feature is our first foray into supporting customers with mobility or speech disabilities to use Alexa with their eyes. Instead of using voice or touch, eye gaze on Alexa will allow customers to gaze at their tablet to perform pre-set Alexa actions, like playing music and shows, controlling their home environment, and communicating with loved ones—entirely hands- and voice-free.

This feature will be extremely helpful to people with disabilities such as paralysis.

Eye gaze on Alexa will be available to customers on Fire Max 11 Tablets in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan.

Coming Attractions

Of the remaining features the article listed, not all are available just yet. Some will be rolled out over the next 12 months. However, there are lots of exciting additions that will likely sell a lot of Alexas in the holiday season. From phone conversations, we will be able to do translations in real-time, to sending messages to radio DJs on iHeart Radio over Alexa.

And kids are really included in these updates to Alexa. Explore with Alexa is a new exclusive addition to the Amazon Kids+ content service that makes it fun for kids to engage in a curiosity-driven, kid-friendly chat with Alexa.

Safety guardrails will redirect kids away from inappropriate or sensitive content and back to the topic at hand. You can read more about Explore with Alexa.

The list is exciting to consider whether you already have Alexa or not. It is amazing to see how much AI is improving the interactions between people and computers.