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Amazon Alexa’s big AI upgrade could require a new subscription

A photo showing an Amazon Echo Show 8
The Amazon Echo Show 8 is an Alexa-enabled smart speaker. | Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge

It’s no secret that Amazon is busy overhauling Alexa with generative AI, but a new report from CNBC reveals that the company plans to make people pay extra for it. When Amazon launches its “more conversational” version of Alexa to the public later this year, the company will reportedly make users pay for a subscription separate from its $139 membership to Prime.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Amazon charging a subscription for Alexa. Last year, David Limp, Amazon’s former senior vice president of devices and services, told The Verge that Amazon “will end up charging something” for a version of Alexa that’s supercharged with AI. At the time, Limp said the existing version of Alexa would remain free to use.

Amazon declined to…

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