“I’m in the cloud, baby!” Only Samuel L. Jackson, the longtime Hollywood star with a distinct voice and vocabulary, could introduce himself through a smart speaker in such a way.
But that’s what he did on Thursday when Amazon introduced the celeb as a fun way to change up its Alexa voice assistant experience. Using its Neural Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology, Amazon allows Jackson to give voice to such things as local weather reports, jokes, movie trivia and much more.
We paid 99 cents to gain access, but that limited-time introductory price will run out and jump to $4.99 sometime after the beginning of the new year. We set Jackson to the explicit version, but Alexa let us know that if the swearing isn’t your thing after a while, you can change it to non-explicit in the Alexa app.
— Kurt Schlosser (@kslosh) December 12, 2019
To get the skill talking, just say, “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson.”
Amazon provided a bunch of questions that it considers worth asking the star of such films as “Pulp Fiction,” “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” “Unbreakable,” “Shaft,” etc.
Some of his answers were more long winded and sounded like true recordings, such as when we asked what it was like making Star Wars. Others were more clearly the work of the TTS technology, which is designed to make artificial voices sound more fluid and natural.
The profanity didn’t show up in every answer, and was used in some weather reports but not others. At one point we asked Alexa to ask Jackson if he was having a good day.
“F**k yeah. Every day is a good day,” the voice replied.