Instead of Alexa’s pleasant voice helping you run your company, Amazon is now offering a slightly more aggressive and intimidating voice.
For just $0.99, Alexa users can be berated by Samuel L. Jackson’s voice, which can add some fun — or fear — to the office.
The actor, best known for his tough guy roles and fear-inducing method of cursing, has lent his abrasive tone to the smart assistant. All you need to do is say, “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson.”
Jackson, known for his roles in Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane, and dozens of other films (and Capital One commercials), is the first celebrity voice made available on Alexa using the company’s neural text-to-speech technology.
Previously, celebrity voices from Chelsea Handler and Ed Sheeran could greet Alexa users in the morning, but those were scripted and recorded. With advancements to the technology that included a new deep-learning model, Amazon was able to model Jackson’s voice differently.
Jackson’s personality is available in two modes: explicit and non-explicit.
He can tell you jokes, let you know if it’s raining, set times and alarms, play music and other functions but he can’t help with shopping, lists, reminders or skills, according to Amazon.
Jackson’s voice doesn’t completely replace Alexa. Users have to first ask Alexa for Samuel by saying, “Alexa, ask Samuel L. Jackson” for whatever your request is.
Amazon announced the news in September during its Devices Event when it said it was making advancements to the technology that will make the voice assistant more conversational, personable and responsive to emotions and expressions, like when users get frustrated when Alexa gets things wrong.
Those capabilities will roll out beginning next year when more celebrity voices will be made available to use, Amazon said.
The feature is similar to one offered by Google Assistant, which lets users choose from celebrities John legend and Issa Rae.