Amazon’s robot Astro reportedly has future new artificial intelligence (AI) integrations in development.
The e-commerce giant aims to ultimately improve Astro’s intelligence and conversationality with the AI technology it has in the works, Business Insider reported Tuesday. The technology has been referred to as “Burnham,” according to the outlet.
Business Insider cited internal Amazon documents as its sourcing.
The upgrade would reportedly rely on generative AI and large language models, types of technology that ChatGPT, OpenAI’s wildly-popular AI chatbot, uses. It would improve the home-monitoring robot’s ability to react to situations based on what it has learned via observation, according to Business Insider.
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Amazon first unveiled Astro over a year-and-a-half ago. It saw some additional features, like detecting pets and alerting about doors or windows being open when they shouldn’t be, added in September 2022.
On the e-commerce giant’s website, it stated Wednesday that Astro was “available exclusively by invitation” and can “only ship to addresses in the 50 US states.” It falls under Amazon’s “Day 1 Editions,” a program “designed to bring you [Amazon’s] more innovative ideas faster.”
Astro has a $1,599 price-tag for all three available configurations — device only, with Alexa Together and with Ring Protect Pro, according to Amazon.
The Alexa Together subscription for Astro helps users “remotely care for aging loved ones” with things like shopping lists and activity alerts, Amazon’s listing for Astro said. With the Ring Protect Pro add-on, users see the robot follow a person it doesn’t recognize and save footage to Ring’s cloud storage, among other things.
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“Astro is off to a very promising start. Invite requests remain strong, and we continue to get great feedback from customers as we enhance Astro’s performance and add even more new features,” Amazon told FOX Business in a statement. “We’re excited by the potential of generative AI technologies, and are looking forward to using these technologies to invent new experiences for Astro that will delight customers and make their lives even easier in the future.”
Business Insider reported Amazon said in a document that it has expectations for “a series of future robots” to have its “Burnham” technology.
Some recent efforts Amazon has taken on the AI front include unveiling its Bedrock service that will allow business clients to customize foundation models and partnering with Hugging Face on better access and deployment of models.
During Amazon’s recent earnings call, CEO Andy Jassy weighed in on AI, including large language models and generative AI features. He said they “have gotten so much bigger and so much better, much more quickly that it really presents a remarkable opportunity to transform virtually every customer experience that exists and many that don’t exist that weren’t really that easily made possible before.”
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“It’s very early days in that space, but probably not surprisingly, we’ve been investing in building in our own large language models for several years, and we have a very large investment across the company.”
Eric Revell contributed to this report.
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