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Amazon Is Becoming an AI Chip Maker, Speeding Alexa Responses

Amazon.com is developing a chip designed for artificial intelligence to work on the Echo and other hardware powered by Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, says a person familiar with Amazon’s plans. The chip should allow Alexa-powered devices to respond more quickly to commands, by allowing more data processing to be handled on the device than in the cloud.

The effort makes Amazon the latest major tech company, after Google and Apple, to design its own AI chips, in hopes of differentiating their products from those of rivals. That strategy has major ramifications for chip companies like Intel and Nvidia, which are now competing with companies that previously have been their customers.

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“The experience can be so much better if you move a substantial part of the speech recognition to the device.”