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Amazon celebrates a decade of Fire TV with (what else?) an AI update

Search results for The Sandlot on Amazon Fire TV.
Ask Alexa for the movie with the famous line “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!” and it will know it’s from “The Sandlot” and where you can stream it. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

When Amazon unveiled the current generation of Fire TV hardware and software at its fall event at HQ2 in Virginia, it spent a fair amount of time showing off search improvements thanks to AI. Now those improvements will start to really see the light of day.

In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Fire TV, Amazon announced that its new AI-powered search will start pushing out to customers in the United States and will be available May 31.

As Amazon demonstrated in September, it’s all about keeping things natural. You ask it to show you something, and it returns results. Trying to remember that old 1980s movie where Robert Downey Jr. played that sort-of-punk guy who actually wasn’t bad but maybe had some work to do? It’ll help find that. Or search for lines from a movie or show.

The demos we saw at the time were surprisingly good, and it will be interesting to see results in real life.

“We’re already are very good at helping customers when they know what they want to watch,” Joshua Danovitz, director of Fire TV experience at Amazon, told me in December. “What we’re doing with LLM is making it so that you’re able to have an interaction and then a multi-turn, almost conversational style, when you don’t really know (what it is you’re looking for).”

Amazon says you’ll get options from Amazon Prime Video, of course, but also from other streaming app libraries.

The new search features come on the heels of improved Ambient Experience backgrounds, which leverage AI-powered imagery to make Fire TV AI art from your own images, or to create something new that can be used as a dynamic background on your Fire TV experience. (Those background image features are still limited to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max, or the Omni OLED line of TVs, however.)

The new AI-powered search will be available on devices running Fire TV OS 6 and up. Just tell Alexa to show you something and give it a whirl.

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