Amazon lays off hundreds in its Alexa division as it plows resources into AI

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Amazon is cutting hundreds of jobs in the unit handling its popular Alexa voice assistant as it plows more resources into artificial intelligence. In a note to employees on Friday (November 17), Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and Fire TV Daniel Rausch said that the company is eliminating certain roles because it is shedding some initiatives. “As we continue to innovate, we’re shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities, and what we know matters most to customers – including our resources and our -efforts aimed at maximizing generational AI,” Rausch wrote.

He said “hundreds” of jobs would be cut, but did not reveal a more precise figure. The job cuts announced Friday will affect employees in the United States, Canada and India.

Seattle-based Amazon is in fierce competition with other tech companies rushing to capitalize on the burgeoning AI boom.

The company has been rolling out a number of AI initiatives over the past few months, from infusing the technology into customer reviews to providing services that allow developers to build their own AI tools on its AWS cloud infrastructure.

Amazon announced, in September, an update to Alexa that it tells with more AI features.

The announcement to cut jobs follows later layoffs in Amazon’s gaming and music teams and also adds to the 27,000 employees who left the company over the past few years and earlier this year.

Those cuts also affected Amazon’s Alexa unit.

(With AP inputs)

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