Big Tech is beginning to move away from voice recognition technologies like Amazon Alexa.
- Big Tech faced a wave of layoffs this month as hundreds of thousands of employees were let go.
- CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg apologized for riding a wave of success post-COVID and overhiring based on internal projections.
- Amazon Alexa’s team took some of the hardest layoffs of any major tech company, with the unprofitable device’s research team being next on the chopping block due to a failure to monetize the device.
- Amazon has laid off more than 10,000 employees this month, Axios reports.
Why it’s Important
Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo are two of the most innovative devices that the company has ever created, but that division of the company that developed it has been a net loss.
As we previously reported, Amazon is projected in total to lose more than $10 billion on Alexa’s development and distribution because of its failure to find ways to monetize it. The device is sold at a loss with the hope that subscription services and purchases will be made through the device. This hasn’t happened.
Amazon has promised to continue supporting and developing both devices but the company’s layoffs hit the voice recognition team very hard, Business Insider reports.
“Amid tech’s biggest slump in two decades, companies are tightening their belts and decreasing investments in secondary devices and voice assistants,” says Axios.
Amazon isn’t alone in this. Google is similarly planning to reduce its development and support for its own voice-recognition devices like Google Assistant and Google Nest, The Information reports.
Voice recognition technology is generally in a mixed place. Voice commands have created opportunities for hands-off phone interaction for drivers and created other opportunities for technologies like virtual reality.
Amazon internally claims that Alexa interactions have increased by 30% in the past year but a February study by Voicebot Research suggests that voice recognition technology use has declined, with fewer Americans using them, Axios reports.
Other voice recognition technologies like Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby haven’t gained a foothold in the market against the success of Apple’s Siri.