Amazon to overhaul Alexa with monthly fee and advanced AI

Amazon is planning a big makeover for its money-losing Alexa service, which includes adding advanced conversational AI and offering two different service levels.

Internally known as "Banyan," this project marks the first major update for Alexa since its launch in 2014 alongside the Echo speakers.

The upgraded voice assistant, internally dubbed "Remarkable Alexa," aims to enhance user experience significantly.

Sources, including current and former Alexa team members, revealed these details anonymously due to project confidentiality.

CEO Andy Jassy has set an ambitious deadline of August for the revamped Alexa, showing personal interest in its success.

Amazon recently raised prices for its Alexa services and is exploring new pricing models, including a potential $5 monthly fee for enhanced features.

The company's plans, including pricing and release dates, are subject to change based on the progress of Project Banyan.

 Amazon aims to integrate advanced AI across its Alexa-enabled devices to offer more proactive and personalized assistance to users.

Despite efforts to compete with rivals like Google and Microsoft in AI technology, Amazon's Alexa service has struggled to turn a profit.

The future of Alexa hinges on its ability to evolve beyond basic functions like setting timers and playing music, potentially boosting Amazon's overall sales strategy.