Amazon announced Friday that it will cut jobs at its Alexa voice assistant unit, citing “changes” in business priorities and a greater focus on generative artificial intelligence.
The cuts affect “several hundred” employees who work at Alexa, according to the email. A spokeswoman did not want to give more details about the exact number of people affected.
“We’re shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities, and what we know matters most to customers, including maximizing our resources and efforts focused on generative AI,” said Daniel Rausch, vice president of Alexa and Fire. TV, in email.
These changes are leading us to interrupt some initiatives
Amazon has been laying off staff in a variety of divisions over the past week, including in its music and gaming sectors and in some human resources roles.
Although most of the affected roles were in the devices division, a few employees were working on Alexa-related products in a different unit, a spokeswoman said.
Many companies are refocusing their resources on generative AI, which can create software code and long textual responses from short instructions.
Reuters reported in September that morale in the devices division has suffered due to concerns about what some considered a weak product portfolio.
In particular, sources noted that the Alexa voice assistant, now almost a decade old, had failed to keep pace in the era of generative artificial intelligence.
Amazon said then that “it is inaccurate to suggest that a few anecdotes paint a picture of reality for an organization as large and diverse as Devices and Services,” and that it defended its products.
Amazon claims that its devices and services business is not profitable, but has not provided figures.