Amazon’s Create With Alexa generates unique animated children’s stories on Echo Show

Tools like DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, which generate images based on a few lines of text, briefly set social media ablaze this year. But Amazon’s entry into the AI art world is a bit different. Create with Alexa lets children guide the creation of animated stories using a few kid-friendly prompts.

Since Create with Alexa is visual storytelling, it’s only available on Echo Show devices, not the company’s audio-only speakers. Amazon says it works whether the device is in Amazon Kids mode or not.

To create a new story, your child would begin by speaking, “Alexa, make a story,” and then following several prompts. The AI then generates an illustrated five-to-ten-line narrative — including animations, sound effects and music — built around their answers.

Amazon’s generative AI has a narrow scope at launch, with only three themes available: “space exploration”, “underwater” and “enchanted forest.” After picking one, children choose the story’s hero from options like “an astronaut named Speedy” or “an alien named Fuzzy.” Your child can then pick a color scheme and a tonal description like silly, happy or mysterious. Afterwards, they can save their stories to watch again later or share them with friends and family.

Alexa lets children choose a hero at the center of their story.

This isn’t a case of Alexa splicing together ready-made scenes. Amazon says no two AI-created stories will be the same, even if your child repeats the process with identical prompts

According to Amazon, Create With Alexa includes safeguards to ensure the feature only produces kid-friendly content. “From the get-go, we used carefully curated data sources to train AI models,” Eshan Bhatnagar, head of product for Alexa AI, said in a blog post today. “We have multiple guardrails such as content filtering and curated prompts to ensure this experience is both delightful and safe.” Additionally, Create with Alexa requires parents to enable the feature before their kids can use it.

Create With Alexa arrives in an atmosphere of uncertainty surrounding Amazon’s voice assistant. Earlier this month, the retail giant confirmed it had begun laying off employees, reportedly slashing around 10,000 jobs. Its Devices & Services division, which handles Echo Show and Alexa, reportedly bore the brunt of it. In October, Amazon also killed off Glow, its kid-focused video-calling device.

Create with Alexa is available on Echo Show devices starting today in the US. However, it’s only available in English and the United States at launch.