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I recently discovered this short video on the Alexa Developers YouTube channel that poses a simple question, “What is Amazon Alexa?” Look back over Alexa’s rapid evolution, and you see that a risky experiment inside Amazon’s labs has become a voice-controlled A.I. market leader. 

Voice-controlled, hands-free A.I. assistants were the brain children of Hollywood and sci-fi writers, not Silicon Valley. Some were good, like the Computer on board every iteration of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Amazon’s Alexa voice service made headlines earlier this year at the annual consumer tech bacchanalia that is the CES show in Vegas.

It appears the four-way competition among Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft in the AI voice-enabled assistant market is about to get a major new player.