Amazon’s Alexa will offer user answers when she’s stumped – CNET

Amazon’s Alexa can answer all sorts of questions, but isn’t a know-it-all. Some queries leave the AI helper positively stumped.

Now, the assistant’s about to get some assistance — in the form of user-submitted answers to questions she can’t quite handle.

Amazon calls the initiative “Alexa Answers,” and it invites select users to provide answers to questions Alexa wasn’t able to field. Amazon says it’s been testing the method internally for the past month and has added “more than 100,000 responses which have been given to customers millions of times.”

Alexa Answers is went live on Thursday, but is accessible by invitation only, the e-tailer said on a post to its Day One blog

“The Alexa Answers website allows invited customers to answer questions, asked by other customers, that Alexa currently does not know the answer to,” the post said. “After a customer submits the answer, the answer may be given to Alexa customers. Then, when the next customer asks Alexa the question answered by the community, Alexa will have access to that answer and can choose to respond by attributing the response to “an Amazon customer” before providing the answer.”

The online mega-retailer didn’t immediately respond when asked how users were being selected for invitation. Also unclear: whether Amazon is vetting user-submitted answers for accuracy and appropriateness before Alexa starts parroting them to other users.

CNET Smart Home

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