Report: Amazon to charge a separate monthly subscription for AI-enhanced Alexa

According to a new report, Amazon plans to launch an AI-enhanced version of Alexa soon, and it’ll cost users a separate monthly subscription.

In line with previous rumors and reports, CNBC today says that Amazon is planning an “AI overhaul” for Alexa based on the company’s Titan LLM. Amazon hinted at this in a recent shareholder letter, saying it was using generative AI to build “an even more intelligent and capable Alexa.”

This latest report, though, makes clear that an AI-enhanced version of Amazon Alexa won’t be free.

Apparently, Amazon plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for access to the new Alexa. This added cost would be separate from Amazon Prime. This means that even customers paying for Amazon’s yearly subscription would be required to pay a completely separate subscription in order to access the improved version of Alexa.

Sources cited in the report apparently claim that it would cost Amazon roughly 2 cents per query to run this new AI voice assistant, leading to the company looking at a monthly subscription cost of $20 per month. The exact price hasn’t been “nailed down” yet, apparently, but other sources mentioned that the subscription would “need” to be under $10 per month.

OpenAI and Google both charge monthly subscriptions of $20 per month for their top AI subscriptions, though Google’s comes with additional storage to be used across other Google products among other perks. Neither Google nor OpenAI, though, offer their AI through smart speakers, at least so far.

In January, it was reported that Amazon employees were wary of plans to charge for a monthly subscription because the AI was struggling with long answers and frequently would hallucinate.

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