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Amazon is making a bold move to enhance the capabilities of its voice assistant, Alexa, by acquiring the AI startup Adept. With a $350 million investment, this strategic acquisition aims to bridge the gap between Amazon and its competitors in the AI space, such as Microsoft and Google.

Under this deal, the co-founder and CEO of Adept, David Luan, is set to join Amazon, along with his co-founders and several other employees. Luan, who also previously served as the Vice President of Engineering at OpenAI, brings valuable expertise.

Meanwhile, Adept will continue to operate as an independent entity, maintaining its own team of employees. Amazon will gain access to Adept’s technology through a non-exclusive license, allowing them to integrate it into their existing infrastructure.

One of the motivations behind this acquisition is the need to strengthen Alexa’s position in the market. While Alexa has been a prominent voice assistant, it faces increasing competition from technologies like ChatGPT. By leveraging Adept’s AI capabilities, Amazon hopes to enhance the user experience and make Alexa more competitive in this evolving landscape.

With Luan reporting to Rohit Prasad, a seasoned Amazon executive in charge of artificial general intelligence (AGI), the acquisition of Adept aligns with Amazon’s long-term vision. By incorporating Adept’s technologies and expertise, Amazon is well-positioned to take its AI capabilities to the next level and provide users with an even more seamless and intuitive experience.