Amazon to Design own AI Chips for Improving Performance of Alexa

US-based electronic commerce and cloud computing company Amazon is developing AI chips to fix slow response by Alexa-powered devices. 

Amazon voice assistant Alexa was reported to respond slowly by users. According to the report from The Information, Amazon is working on fixing an issue by developing AI chips that would add speech recognition directly to Alexa-powered devices resulting in better and quick response by the device. The goal is for the hardware to be built into any device that features Alexa, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus.

As a part of the show response, delay was observed in making an inquiry or request and getting a response from Alexa. The reason for slow response was predicted to be the contact made by voice assistant with the cloud and interpretation of the command before it is able to formulate a response. By processing more data on the devices rather than in the cloud, the devices should theoretically be able to formulate a reply more speedily and operate more efficiently overall. While the device will still have to contact the cloud for more complex requests, the addition of speech recognition would eliminate the delay in simple tasks, such as reporting the time.

In 2015, Amazon acquired chip designer Annapurna Labs. Currently, the company is involved in producing A.I. chips according to the need of Amazon’s hardware. Amazon is also hiring for chip engineers for Amazon Web Services, which suggests that the company is focused on introducing its own proprietary chips.

Other market players such as Nvidia and Intel are also focused on developing chips to maintain leading position in market. Both companies have shifted much of their expertise in developing A.I. chips. Furthermore, Google currently uses its own chips to support features such as Street View, Translate, and Search. Apple has also designed and deployed custom A.I. chips in its own products.

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