If you ever wanted the smooth, soothing voice of Samuel L. Jackson as your in-home virtual assistant, Amazon has you covered. The company has announced the veteran actor‘s voice is a new option for customers of its Alexa device.
Samuel L. Jackson inked a deal with Amazon to provide first celebrity voice option for Alexa, its cloud-based digital assistant. According to the ecommerce giant, it will add more celebrity guest voices for the platform starting in 2020. The Jackson “voice pack” for Alexa will be available later this year for the special intro price of 99 cents — and users can select either clean and explicit modes.
Jackson’s baritone is coming to Alexa thanks to a new Neural Text-to-Speech technology developed by Amazon, announced at the company’s Amazon Devices event in Seattle Wednesday. That’s designed to make Alexa’s default female voice more human-sounding, with more emotive and expressive speech. It also lets Alexa replicate speech inflections of real people, too — meaning Jackson’s voice on Alexa will be synthesized, rather than delivered as pre-recorded words or phrases.
To get started, after installing the Jackson voice pack, Alexa users just say, “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson,” then choose whether they want him to use explicit language or not. Some example commands Amazon offered: “Alexa, ask Samuel L. Jackson where he is from”; “Alexa, ask Sam to wake me up at 7 a.m.”; and “Alexa, ask Sam Jackson to sing happy birthday.” (The company said the celebrity voice packs will not be able to help with shopping, lists, reminders or skills.)
Amazon Alexa has announced a new slew of products, including earbuds, an auto device for cars, Echo-enabled glasses, and more. See the whole lineup here.