“Alexa, who is the woman behind your voice?”
Voiceover artist Nina Rolle has been identified as the actual human who the famous artificial intelligence service is patterned after.
Although Amazon has never revealed the identity of the person who took to the microphone to help create its ubiquitous virtual assistant, Alexa, journalist Brad Stone has uncovered one of the biggest mysteries of the tech world.
The claim comes from Stone’s newest book, “Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire,” about the tech giant’s rise to become a trillion-dollar company and its founder’s emergence as the wealthiest person in the world.
Published Tuesday by Simon & Schuster, the 496-page hardcover draws a vivid portrait of how an e-commerce upstart became one of the most powerful and feared entities in the global economy.
On Amazon, the tome has already vaunted to become a No. 1 new release on its first day of official release.
Already a New York Times best-selling author, Stone is an expert on the technology terrain — the Columbia University alum is senior executive editor of the global technology group at Bloomberg News.
In 2013, Stone chronicled the digital behemoth in the “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” which was translated into more than 35 languages. The book won the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs Book of the Year award.
Stone’s deep reporting uncovers how even as he orchestrated the effort that became Amazon’s failed Fire Phone, Bezos was determined to position Amazon on the farthest frontier of artificial intelligence research.
The company’s chief conceived Alexa and oversaw its development, challenged his employees to think more ambitiously, authorized a top-secret data-gathering operation to improve the pre-launch prototype, and closely supervised the secret selection of the actress who became the voice of Alexa itself.