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Ars Technica reports that "Amazon thinks that in the near future, its Alexa voice assistant will offer enough value that customers will be willing to pay a subscription fee to use it."

Dave Limp, Amazon's SVP of devices and services (though he's scheduled to depart soon to become CEO of Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space business), tells Ars Technica that "the costs associated with turning Alexa from a voice assistant that can tell you the temperature to a generative AI chatbot that can draft an email, based on information previously discussed with it, for you to send to your friends" are "substantial."

He also suggested that there is little chance that the fees could be included with Amazon Prime membership, saying that this already represents "unbelievably oversized value."

KC's View:

I have no problem with the idea that an AI-powered Alexa might have its own fee structure.  But Amazon has to be careful about this - it has created an expectation that everything gets added onto Prime, and if it decides to embrace different pricing structures, it has to tell the story clearly and carefully.