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Fancy Amitabh Bachchan speaking to you on a day in day out basis? Maybe you’d like him to recommend songs or even read out the news for you?
That could soon be a reality, as Amazon has announced a partnership with the 77-year-old Bollywood star that will bring his voice to Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa.
Bachchan will be the first Indian celebrity voice on Alexa.
The Bachchan Alexa skill will offer jokes, weather, advice, shayaris (Urdu poetry), motivational quotes, and more. It’s set to launch in 2021 as a paid experience, but Amazon says you can get a taste of what it sounds like by saying this into any Alexa-enabled device: “Alexa, say hello to Mr. Amitabh Bachchan.”
“Technology has always given me an opportunity to adapt to new form,” Bachchan said in a mailed statement. “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.”
Amazon India’s Alexa experiences leader Puneesh Kumar added: “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.”
Bachchan is the first Indian celebrity to lend his voice to Alexa, but he joins Samuel L. Jackson, who was revealed as the first-ever Alexa celebrity voice in September last year. The Jackson Alexa skill is only available with English (US), mind you.
Amazon’s announcement suggests the Bachchan Alexa skill will be limited to India, and the initial demo suggests he will speak in Hindi. It’s unclear if Bachchan will also speak in English.