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Amazon Surprises With New Device, a Voice Assistant

Amazon just revealed its latest product. The ecommerce giant published a web page on Thursday showing a device called Echo that acts basically as an artificially intelligent assistant and a high-end speaker. The company also announced the new device via Twitter. According to the site the device provides information, music, news, weather and is completely controlled by the user's voice. It is always turned on and responds to command after prompted by being called "Alexa." The site claims the device is continually learning and adds functionalities over time. The device runs on Amazon's Web Services, so its brain is always in the cloud, according to the website. "The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences," the company states on its website. Echo is priced at $199 for non-Amazon Prime members or $99 for Prime members. It is only available via invitation, which can be requested on its website.

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--- Cadie Thompson, CNBC