Amazon Astro Leak Claims Home Robot Will Get A Massive AI Upgrade

Google and Microsoft are duking it out in full force on the AI battlefield, and it appears that Amazon doesn't want to miss out on the billion-dollar prize either. But instead of putting next-gen AI in apps or web browsers, Amazon wants to bring the tech to life via robots that live in our homes. Amazon already has the rather-cute-but-also-creepy Astro robot up for grabs. According to a leak, the company is prepping a next-gen model that implements the same kind of conversational AI chops that you come across with the likes of ChatGPT and Google Bard, but with added environmental intelligence to assist with at-home chores.

Citing internal documents, Business Insider reports that Amazon is working on a project codenamed "Burnham" that involves a robot capable of natural language conversations and upgraded home awareness. But instead of just discovering and understanding anomalies, such as a boiling pot of water still on the flame, the robot may take the next step after assessing the risks and promptly informing people in the house. Amazon reportedly sees such smart robots as machines that "brings peace of mind to the family that within their home, all is well."

Amazon is reportedly targeting a tentative price of around $1,000 for its upcoming home assist robot, but there might also be complementary subscription-based services to go along with it. Standard home monitoring services would cost $25 per month while looping the Ring cameras into the equation would bump the monthly fee up to $35. 

Can you trust Amazon?

An alleged key element of the Burnham project, which could spawn multiple products down the road, is contextual awareness. For example, if the Astro successor's cameras detect that a person has fallen on the floor, it would analyze the gravity of the situation and would dial 911 for emergency help if needed. But the company reportedly wants to go a step ahead and develop human-like memory and environmental intelligence in the robot. The leaked internal documents say owners will be able to ask the robot where they put the car keys and it will guide them toward it. As convenient as that sounds, it also means that the robot has been following you around when you had the key in your hand and put it at any given spot in your house.

To be able to help with finding, the robot must have a log of everything that it saw with the camera — or, to put it simply, it could essentially be an on-wheels machine with a digitally recorded memory of your entire house. For a company that already has a tainted record with Alexa recordings leaking private moments, convincing consumers to buy a robot that records everything in their house not just with a mic, but also a camera, likely won't be a cakewalk. Amazon is also said to be eyeing "intelligence and a conversational spoken interface" for its next-gen robot.