"customers in India can easily invoke the Amitabh Bachchan skill"
Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is set to become the first celebrity voice option for Amazon Alexa for the Indian market.
Amazon announced the partnership and said that it will deliver a unique voice experience.
The Amazon Alexa team will work closely with Amitabh to capture his voice and deliver a new experience for customers.
It will include popular offerings like jokes, the weather, motivational quotes, advice and more.
To get a taste of what to expect, just say: “Alexa, Say Hello to Mr Amitabh Bachchan.”
Amitabh’s voice will then interact with you for a few minutes. However, the full feature will only be available in early 2021 in India.
Amazon said: “When launched next year, customers in India can easily invoke the Amitabh Bachchan skill by just asking Alexa and instantly getting their favourite superstar’s voice responding to popular requests.”
Amazon uses its ‘neutral text-to-speech’ engine to impersonate celebrities’ voices on Alexa-powered devices.
The company first takes the voice samples of the person uttering text phrases containing commonly asked questions.
Then, Amazon feeds them to the computer and runs its application to recreate the audio identical to the celebrity’s own voice.
With this, Amazon Echo smart speaker owners can expect their Alexa to respond. In this case, queries will be answered in Amitabh Bachchan’s voice.
Puneesh Kumar, Country Leader for Alexa, Amazon India said:
“Cricket and Bollywood are integral to Alexa’s unique Indian personality.
“Mr Bachchan’s voice is truly memorable for any Indian who has grown-up with Bollywood.”
“This combination delivers a perfect pitch to further delight and simplify the lives of our customers. We are excited to see how our customers will respond when they use Alexa and hear his voice.”
Alexa is also available on the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Fire TV Edition, the free Alexa app as well as the Amazon shopping app (Android only).
In addition, several third-party devices like mobile phones, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, wearables and smart TVs also come with Alexa built-in.
Amitabh Bachchan said of the partnership: “Technology has always given me an opportunity to adapt to new forms.
“Be it in movies, TV shows, podcasts and now, I am excited to create this voice experience in partnership with Amazon and Alexa.
“With voice technology, we are building something to engage more effectively with my audience and well-wishers.”
When the feature releases, customers in India can access Amitabh’s voice on Alexa by purchasing the Amitabh Bachchan voice experience.
Amitabh Bachchan’s voice is likely to be limited to Hindi.
However, it remains to be seen how much Amazon will charge Echo smart-speaker customers to access Amitabh Bachchan’s voice feature.
In the US, it charges $1 (Rs 73.50) plus taxes for the Samuel L Jackson voice feature, which is in US English.