Amazon gives Samuel L. Jackson his own Alexa wake phrase

 theverge.com  09/16/2020 19:06:20   Nick Statt
The Last Full Measure Atlanta Red Carpet Screening With Samuel L. Jackson, Todd Robinson And Sebastian Stan At SCADshow Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Roadside Attractions

Amazon is expanding its Samuel L. Jackson voice skill for its Alexa digital assistant to include tens of thousands more phrases, including much more of the actors iconic expletive-filled delivery. The company is also giving Jackson his own dedicated wake phrase: Hey, Samuel. The news follows Amazons announcement on Monday that it plans to add its next celebrity voice, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, for the Indian market some time next year.

The Jackson partnership launched last December, allowing Alexa users to pay $0.99 to access the actors voice on Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices. Since then, Amazon says consumers complained that the integration was overly burdensome, because you effectively had to ask Alexa to ask for Jackson to reply to something.

In addition to that, the range of questions and exchanges you could have using the Jackson skill was limited, mostly because Amazon recorded only a small number of words using the actors real voice and relied on artificial intelligence to expand the library. When gathering feedback, Amazon says most owners of the skill  nearly 75 percent of which had expletives turned on  requested a more candid, off-the-cuff Jackson than was currently available via Alexa.

Now, in todays update, Jacksons Alexa integration will feature around 30,000 more phrases, including five times the swear words, reports Variety. And you can activate the voice by just saying Hey Samuel, a feature that proved to be a incredibly hard engineering challenge Amazon says it needed to upgrade the on-device wake word detector to enable.

Some examples include Jackson saying, Look at that hot ball of gas and fire! No, dont actually look, when asking about the weather, and Why do Jedis always burn their pancakes? They never turn to the dark side if you ask for a joke.

Variety also reports that Jackson now offers a touching response when asked what hes up to, in which hell respond hes thinking about the late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. There are also other topical responses regarding Jacksons future work, like one mentioning his upcoming Quibi animated show with Ryan Reynolds called Futha Mucka.

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