Would You Pay for an AI Enhanced Alexa?

My experience is it’s extremely difficult to monetize something previously free, so long as the free option is good enough.

We use Google Home devices. If Google were to require a paid subscription, we wouldn’t.

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I do not use any of those services because I don’t want them always listening in on me. If Alexa becomes “AI Enhanced” then that would just strengthen my desire to have nothing to do with it.


My Echo Dot does pretty much all that I want it to already.

So no, I would not pay for adding AI capability.

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I’ve been trying to push back against work asking us to shove AI in everything… Not really interested in AI in a personal assistant because why is it needed? They used to be good back when they were simple but now they can’t even do the basic things they used to do when they were introduced.

Amazon seems to be following the same path as banks, airlines, and hotels by adding surprise fees to everything. In February they are adding a monthly fee in order to suppress ads on Amazon Prime Videos, and you have to be careful to look long and hard at the first few products when searching Amazon’s web site, since so many of those are paid placements.

We have a lot of Amazon Echo devices and we use them for music, timers, alarms, and to control our smart devices: lights, vacuum, tv, fans, and thermostat. However, everything we use Alexa for could be done just fine from Google Assistant.

If Amazon starts charging for Alexa services that we need, we’ll dump them and hope that Google doesn’t start charging.