Amazon’s Alexa is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular digital assistants. At IFA Berlin, Amazon’s Daniel Rausch took to the stage to share some facts about the company’s digital assistant. Perhaps most impressive is the growth the A.I. has seen over the course of this year. At the beginning of 2018, Alexa was on more than 4,000 devices. Nine months later and that number has jumped north of 20,000.
According to CNET, Raush also shared a few more data points that serve to highlight the extent of Alexa’s growth.
“Just this year,” Raush said, “Alexa has sung Happy Birthday millions of times to customers, and she’s told over 100 million jokes.”
While Alexa comes pre-installed on a number of Amazon products such as the Echo smart speaker and Fire tablets, the majority of this growth comes from third-party integration. In fact, over the course of this year, the number of brands using Alexa has nearly tripled. At the start of this year, there were 1,200 products that made use of Amazon’s digital assistant. As of IFA Berlin, there were roughly 3,500 such devices around the world.
While Amazon has grown its hardware division over the past few years, it is also continuing to expand Alexa’s reach into third-party products and services. The company is working with everyone from hotel brands to car manufactures in order to better integrate Alexa into your everyday life.
While the sci-fi vision of an A.I. that can chat with you like a real person and cater to your every need is years off, Alexa’s growth does an impressive job of highlighting just how far speech recognition software has come over the past few years. A decade ago, such technology seemed almost magical. Now, it is quickly becoming commonplace. It provides an interesting example of the ways in which computing power and big data can be used to overcome obstacles that had previously seemed insurmountable.
Of course, Alexa is far from the only digital assistant on the market. Google Assistant is the other major player right now and both have their pros and cons. If you need help deciding between an Amazon or Echo device, we have you covered.