Amazon Alexa is undoubtedly one of the leaders in the virtual assistant space, and while I've never found it to be slow on devices like the Echo, a new report suggests that it may get even faster thanks to a new AI chipset.

According to The Information, Amazon is in the process of building a dedicated hardware chip to be used with products like the Echo, Echo Show, and other Alexa-powered speakers so that they can natively process speech recognition without having to first contact the cloud. While Alexa would still need to use the cloud to pull in information and connect with skills, the chip would allow for faster responses for small commands – such as checking the time, setting an alarm, etc.

This would be a big step for Alexa, but the news is hardly surprising. Both Google and Apple already use AI chipsets for a variety of their products/services, and it was only a matter of time Amazon would follow suit – especially since the company purchased chip-designer Annapurna Labs in 2015.

We don't have a timeframe as to when Amazon will start integrating its AI chip into Echo hardware, but this is certainly something we'll be keeping our eyes out for in the future. Stay tuned.

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