August 25, 2021Bollywood actor humanises Alexa smart speakers

From voice assistants to robot deliveries, devices are being introduced at an accelerated pace. While some embrace these technologies, others greet them with dismissal, fear, or skepticism. Amazon has partnered with a Bollywood star to help humanise its Alexa devices for Indian users.

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Amitabh Bachchan – India’s biggest movie star – has been selected by Amazon as the voice-over for Alexa devices in India. Users can add the Bollywood legend’s voice to their devices or Amazon shopping apps, with prices starting at an introductory rate of $2 for the first year. Come the second year, the price goes up to an annual rate of $4. “Working with Amazon to introduce my voice on Alexa was a new experience in bringing together the magic of voice technology and artistic creativity," says Bachchan. "I am excited that my well-wishers can now interact with me via this new medium, and I am looking forward to hearing how they feel about this.”

This isn’t the first time Amazon has used celebrity voiceovers – in 2019, Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackon lent his familiar voice to Alexa smart speakers in the US. Overwhelmingly, artificial intelligence and devices that rely on AI are the most distrusted of all technologies, with 41% of consumers saying they distrust AI-powered technology. And as people continue to engage with increasingly advanced devices, this gives brands opportunities to think of ways in which they can creatively humanise and familiarise their products, bearing in mind that trust in technology starts with familiarity.

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