Amazon has announced an AI upgrade for Alexa that will make the voice assistant even more helpful. “Our latest model has been specifically optimized for voice and the things we know our customers love — like having access to real-time information, efficiently controlling their smart home, and getting the most out of their home entertainment,” explained Dave Limp, SVP of devices and services at Amazon.
The new generative AI model can also adjust its tone and responses, losing the robotic voice and expressing more realistic emotions like excitement, laughter, and surprise.
“The capabilities deliver unique experiences based on the preferences that you’ve shared, the services that you’ve interacted with, and the information about the environment in and around your home,” says Limp. “The new model will allow you to surface personal reminders. For example, it can help you with recently played music or even come up with recipe recommendations based on your grocery purchases”.
In addition to the AI upgrade, Alexa now has the ability to continue conversations without the user saying “Alexa”. Overall, the latest upgrade should offer a richer, more convincing experience combined with improved functionality.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.