Amazon is cleaning up its Alexa division: hundreds of jobs at risk

Stéphane Ficca

Hardware & gaming specialist

November 20, 2023 at 9:47 a.m.


Echo Pop Kids © © Amazon

Amazon is reducing its workforce and reorienting its commercial priorities © Amazon

The Alexa division at Amazon is at the heart of a vast wave of layoffs, because of… generative artificial intelligence.

According to a recent internal memo intercepted by the teams of Geek Wire, Amazon will cut several hundred jobs within its Alexa division. This is part of a broader shift in its priorities and a focus on developing new forms of artificial intelligence.

At Amazon, we must save soldier Alexa!

A few weeks ago, Amazon unveiled a new conversational AI within its Echo devices, aimed in particular at allowing young people to communicate with Amazon. Somewhat outdated by recent ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI, the Alexa home assistant must be renewed, the voice assistant being, moreover, not a model of profitability for the American giant.

Amazon logo © Alexandre Boero for Clubic

Amazon could cut more than 30,000 jobs over the whole of 2023 © Alexandre Boero for Clubic

Also, Amazon has decided to carry out a vast restructuring of its teams, in the United States, Canada and India. For the American giant, it is a question of redirecting its efforts towards generative AI, even if it means having to part ways with certain employees.

Daniel Rausch, Vice President of Alexa and Fire TV, explains in part: “ We are shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities and what matters most to our customers “.

Towards more than 30,000 layoffs in 2023 at Amazon…

Consequently, the American firm has already confirmed the “ elimination of several hundred positions “. At this time, the company has not specified the number of employees impacted by this upcoming restructuring.

Remember that last January, Amazon had already cut its workforce, with nearly 20,000 employees laid off, without forgetting a second wave of layoffs in April, this time with 9,000 employees affected.

At the end of September, Amazon presented a new range of connected products, which notably had new conversational capabilities, with Alexa AI and the new “Alexa, let’s chat” command.

Source : Geek Wire

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