Amazon follows Apple by designing custom AI chips for Alexa

“Amazon has started designing a custom artificial intelligence chip that would power future Echo devices and improve the quality and response time of its Alexa voice assistant, according to a report today from The Information,” Nick Statt reports for The Verge. “The move closely follows rivals Apple and Google, both of which have already developed and deployed custom AI hardware at various scales.”

“AI tasks, because they are so computationally intensive, often need custom-designed chips for the devices themselves and even custom-designed servers for data centers where AI algorithms are often trained, developed, and deployed from the cloud,” Statt reports. “Amazon, which seeks to stay competitive in the smart home hardware market and in the realm of consumer-facing AI products, has nearly 450 people with chip expertise on staff, reports The Information, thanks to key hires and acquisitions the e-commerce giant has made in the last few years.”

“The plan is for Amazon to develop its own AI chips so Alexa-powered products in its ever-expanding Echo line can do more on-device processing, instead of having to communicate with the cloud, a process that increases response rate times,” Statt reports. “With regards to AI specifically, Apple designed a new ‘neural engine’ as part of its A11 Bionic chip, which handles on-device processing for machine learning algorithms that power features like Face ID and ARKit apps.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The more than can be done on device as opposed to the cloud, the better the experience will be.

Apple explains how ‘Hey Siri’ works using a deep neural network and machine learning – October 19, 2017


    1. … not long ago who would have thought the guy making electric cars would be launching them into space? Never underestimate the ingenuity and capabilities that some people and companies have.

        1. I don’t like the cloud for anything other than syncing. It’s just the return of the mainframe. That said, I don’t buy based on trying to increase my sellers high profit, I buy based on trying to lower their profit. See how that works?

      1. You got your head in the clouds again, eh? Why aren’t you a Microsoft cynic? Or are you just an opportunistic cystic cynic?

        Your cynical attitude sucks balls, John Dangler, Artiste should be your tea-bagging friend in that case.

        1. I am an MS cynic, so is everyone else, I don’t need to convince anyone and they don’t have fans.

          All I said about Amazon is the truth. Doesn’t make me a fan.
          Apple is the largest company in the world by market cap, definitely doesn’t make me a fan.

    2. Possibly years behind but also possibly years ahead of Apple in making sure their AI will be able to sync anything learned across all Alexa instances in your devices.

  1. While I agree with MDN’s take, without a means to synchronize that learning across all owned devices will simply create many devices in the home that have varying (and possibly inconsistent) levels of ‘learned’ behavior.

    1. AMZN is very close (~$7B) to overtaking MSFT marketcap. They’ve also shrunk the gap from about $300B to $150B in the last 3 weeks and that’s before the big market ‘correction’. Even after the correction they maintain that same gap. I wouldn’t be surprised if by mid-year (if not earlier) they surpass AAPL.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.