NEW DELHI – Bollywood film industry’s superstar Amitabh Bachchan will be India’s first celebrity voice in virtual assistant Alexa, designed by American multinational Amazon, where users will be able to listen to jokes and motivational quotes, among other things, in his famous baritone.
“The Amazon Alexa team will work closely with Mr. Bachchan to capture the iconic voice from the Shehenshah (meaning king of kings, the name of one of his movies) of Bollywood and deliver a unique voice experience to customers,” Amazon said in a statement on Monday.
Amazon will use the voice of the veteran actor to create the first “celebrity voice experience” in India, one of its main markets.
The company announced that customers will be able to access this feature by purchasing the voice experience from 2021 onwards, but did not mention an exact release date.
To invoke the superstar, Alexa users will have to say “Alexa, say hello to Amitabh Bachchan,” and be able to listen to jokes, weather forecasts, shayaris (Urdu poetry), motivational quotes and even advice, in his voice.
“Mr. Bachchan’s voice is truly memorable for any Indian who has grown-up with Bollywood. This combination delivers a perfect pitch to further delight and simplify the lives of our customers,” said Amazon India’s country head for Alexa, Puneesh Kumar.
Bachchan, on his part, expressed enthusiasm regarding Alexa’s new feature and said that “with voice technology, we are building something to engage more effectively with my audience and well-wishers,” according to the Amazon statement.
The 77-year-old actor, who overcame the novel coronavirus, has worked in a wide range of films in Bollywood over the last half a century with films such as “Sholay” (1975), “Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977) and “Black” (2005) among the long list of popular movies.
His work has earned him several accolades over his long career, along with much affection and recognition from millions of Indians, some of whom treat him almost as a demigod.
The US multinational is in the phase of implementing a $1-billion investment plan to digitize small and medium-sized businesses in India, as per the announcement by its founder, Jeff Bezos, earlier this year.
The extensive spread of COVID-19 infections in India and the lockdown measures declared across the country has forced large sections of the population to resort to purchasing all types of goods online, benefiting e-commerce firms such as Amazon.
In fact, the US based firm had to hire an additional 50,000 workers and strengthen its infrastructures, which already amount to 60 centers across 15 states in the country with a storage capacity of almost one million cubic meters.