Cover Photo Major News from Amazon's Alexa, Cohere, Cognigy and Adobe Lightroom

Amazon to Overhaul Alexa with Generative AI and Subscription Model

Amazon is planning a major upgrade for its Alexa voice assistant, incorporating generative AI for more natural and sophisticated interactions.  To offset the cost of this advanced technology, Amazon will introduce a monthly subscription fee for the enhanced Alexa experience. The new version of Alexa, expected later this year, aims to rival AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini.  While pricing details remain undisclosed, the subscription will not be included in the existing Prime membership. This move comes amidst internal pressure to revitalize Alexa, which has faced criticism for its limited capabilities compared to newer AI models.  Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has reportedly expressed a desire for a more intelligent and capable voice assistant. Despite challenges in attracting AI talent and managing the high costs associated with generative AI, Amazon sees an opportunity to leverage its vast user base and established presence in homes.  The company plans to utilize its own large language model, Titan, for the Alexa upgrade.

Cohere for AI Unveils Aya 23: Open-Weight Language Models for Enhanced Multilingual Capabilities

Cohere for AI, the research arm of AI startup Cohere, has released Aya 23, a new family of multilingual language models available in 8B and 35B parameter variants.  Aya 23 supports 23 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. These models build upon the previous Aya 101, offering improved performance and addressing the limitations of English-centric language models.  Cohere for AI emphasizes a balanced approach, focusing on both breadth of language coverage and depth of capabilities within each language. Aya 23 outperforms its predecessor and other open models in various tasks, demonstrating significant advancements in multilingual language processing.  The open weights release allows researchers and developers to customize and utilize these models for their specific needs.  Users can access and experiment with Aya 23 on the Cohere Playground.

Cognigy Introduces AI Agents for Sales and Marketing at CCW Las Vegas

Cognigy, a leading provider of AI-powered customer service solutions, has launched its new AI Agents for Sales and Marketing at Customer Contact Week in Las Vegas.  These AI agents are designed to enhance customer engagement, drive sales growth, and provide personalized experiences. By leveraging customer data and contextual insights, Cognigy’s AI Agents can proactively identify customer needs and initiate conversations, including outbound calls.  They can automate tasks such as contract renewals, sales activation, and appointment scheduling. Early adopters in retail, telecommunications, and travel are already seeing positive results, including increased revenue and improved customer satisfaction.  Cognigy’s AI Agents seamlessly integrate with existing contact center workflows and can collaborate with human agents when necessary.

Adobe Lightroom Gets AI-Powered Eraser Tool

Adobe has added a new AI-powered feature called Generative Remove to its Lightroom photo editing software.  This tool, currently in beta, allows users to easily eliminate unwanted objects from images by simply painting over them. Powered by Adobe’s Firefly AI engine, Generative Remove analyzes the image and seamlessly replaces the selected area with a generated background.  This simplifies the often tedious process of removing distracting elements, especially large objects or those in complex backgrounds. While similar to Google Photos’ Magic Eraser, Adobe’s Generative Remove focuses on improving existing retouching workflows for photographers.  The tool offers three different removal options for users to choose from, providing greater control over the final result. Adobe continues to enhance its software with AI capabilities, prioritizing practical improvements for photographers over flashy new features.