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Bollywood Megastar Amitabh Bachchan Becomes First Celeb in India to Voice Amazon's Assistant 'Alexa'

Exactly a year ago, in September 2019, the e-commerce giant Amazon rolled out support for the Hindi language on its voice assistant Alexa in a bid to expand the services to the interior of India. The move was made after Amazon’s Alexa-powered smart speakers performed well and led the sector in India in 2018.

Adding another twist to its voice assistant, Amazon has managed to recruit the country's most popular actor, Amitabh Bachchan, to give his voice to Alexa in India.

The versatile 77-year old actor is famous for his deep baritone that he has flaunted over the years via songs and voiceovers for several national and international projects.

The feature, to be rolled out in 2021, will allow users to say “Hello” to the megastar and will let them listen to jokes and stories, as well as play games, with Bachchan’s voice hosting Alexa's famous trivia. More functions are expected to be added to Alexa operating in Bachchan’s voice before its official rollout.

“I am excited to create this voice experience in partnership with Amazon and Alexa. With voice technology, we are building something to engage more effectively with my audience and well-wishers”, the Bollywood biggie said, commenting on the partnership.

The news has created ripples on social media. Netizens were quick to get their meme-game on, predicting how Alexa would soon start sounding like Bachchan's famous dialogues. 

Amazon is also teaming up with Hollywood actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson for a similar deal. 

A recent study published by Researchandmarket.com suggests that the global smart speakers market is expected to grow from $5.5 billion in 2019 to $5.7 billion in 2020 at a growth rate of 3 percent. The study finds that the strict economic slowdown is responsible for the slow growth. Nevertheless, Amazon claimed that Alexa received thousands of requests every minute during curfew-like lockdown in India early this year. 

In 2018, the market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that a total of 753,000 units of Amazon smart speakers were shipped that year - grabbing 59 percent of the smart speaker market share in India. Google came in second with a 39 percent share.

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