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– Generative AI Dominance: Google Dismisses Alexa Team

Amazon is reducing its workforce in the division responsible for its voice assistant Alexa as it fo…

Amazon is downsizing its workforce within the department responsible for the popular voice assistant Alexa to allocate more resources to artificial intelligence initiatives, as per an AP report.

According to the report, Daniel Rausch, Amazon’s vice president overseeing Alexa and Fire TV, informed employees on Friday that certain roles are being cut due to the discontinuation of specific projects.

Rausch emphasized the company’s focus on aligning efforts with business priorities and customer needs, particularly emphasizing the importance of advancing generative AI technologies.

While Rausch mentioned that “several hundred” positions will be affected, he did not provide an exact figure for the layoffs.

Amazon, based in Seattle, is in fierce competition with other tech companies in harnessing generative AI advancements. In recent months, the company has introduced various AI projects, from integrating AI into customer feedback mechanisms to empowering developers to create their AI solutions using AWS cloud services.

In a bid to enhance Alexa’s capabilities, Amazon unveiled a new iteration of the voice assistant with enhanced generative AI functionalities in September. The layoffs announced recently will impact employees in the United States, Canada, and India.

This move follows previous job cuts in Amazon’s gaming and music divisions, adding to the 27,000 job losses the company experienced in the latter part of the previous year and early this year, which also impacted the Alexa team.

The streamlining in Amazon’s music sector began in October, with the elimination of communication roles, distinct from the earlier layoffs, as per a source familiar with the situation.

The restructuring in the music division indicates a strategic pivot towards bolstering Prime Video as a prominent streaming platform. During Amazon’s third-quarter earnings call last month, Jassy expressed confidence in Prime Video’s potential as a lucrative standalone business, emphasizing continued investments in exclusive content for Prime subscribers.

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Last modified: February 6, 2024
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