Amazon’s Alexa Will No Longer Sound Like Shaquille O’Neal – CNET

Celebrity “personalities” for Amazon’s Alexa will be a thing of the past. 

According to the company’s product pages for available celebrity voice-overs including Shaquille O’Neal, Samuel L. Jackson and Melissa McCarthy, you can no longer buy a voice, which had been priced at $5 each. 

“After three years, we’re winding down celebrity voices,” a spokesperson for Amazon said. “Customers will be able to continue using these voices for a limited time, and can contact our customer service team for a refund.”

If you already purchased McCarthy or O’Neal’s famous personality, you’ll be able to use it until Sept. 30. If you bought Jackson’s voice-over for Alexa, you can use it through June 7. (The product page for Jackson’s voice says customers may use the skill through April 2023, but Amazon told CNET that customers can use Jackson’s voice through June 7.) The news was reported earlier by The Verge

The celebrity voice feature is compatible with most Echo devices except the first-generation Echo and Echo Dot and wearables, per Amazon. To use a celebrity voice, you’d open the normal Alexa way by going “Hey, O’Neal,” (or Jackson, or McCarthy) and then ask them to set up a timer, set an alarm, tell a joke or a story, or do whatever other tricks came with that specific voice. (As The Verge reported, each famous “personality” for Alexa is limited. Amazon says the celebrities can’t do “shopping lists, reminders or skills.”) 

If you would like to play with additional voices or accents for Alexa, you can still choose from a variety of accents for Alexa in American, Australian, British, Canadian and Indian. To change it, say “Alexa, change your voice,” or go into device settings on the Alexa app.

In the meantime, here are 50 of Alexa’s top skills, as well as some of the ultimate voice commands you should be giving Alexa.

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