Samuel L. Jackson will be the first celebrity voice of Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant, giving people the opportunity to ask the actor for help—and to receive either a clean or expletive-laden response.
The Snakes on a Plane actor is known for dropping plenty of f-bombs in his movies, making him one of the most memorable and quotable actors in Hollywood. At an event on Wednesday, Amazon announced that it will give Alexa users the choice to buy an explicit or clean version of the actor's voice for Alexa later this year. Amazon also unveiled a slew of new Alexa-enabled hardware, meaning Jackson's voice could emanate from a pair of glasses, a ring, or even a convection oven.
As part of the limited time, 99-cent package, Jackson will take on the persona of the trusty Alexa sidekick, waking users up, setting timers, telling them the weather forecast, jokes, and plenty of other functions.
Jackson's debut as Amazon's first celebrity voice comes one year after competitor Google deployed singer John Legend's voice as an option for Google Home users. Amazon was able to mimic Jackson's voice by using a neural "text-to-speech" engine that utilizes recordings of celebrities to mimic their voices. Jackson is being paid for his likeness.
The Alexa virtual assistant will also soon be able to tell when users are frustrated. Starting next year, when people request music and Alexa senses frustration, the virtual assistant will apologize for mistakes and offer an alternative action, such as playing a different song.