Alexa gets even smarter, thanks to you
Customers love to ask Alexa questions. Whether they’re looking for the latest sports scores, struggling to remember the name of the actor in their favorite movie or hoping to settle a friendly dinner table debate, customers turn to Alexa daily to help them find the information they need.
Our vision has always been that Alexa will be able to answer all questions in all forms, from anywhere in the world. Alexa is getting smarter every day—she can now do millions of things, and just in the last year we added more than one billion data points to Alexa’s knowledge, federating a large number of sources that inform our knowledge graph. This ensures Alexa offers high-quality answers for questions customers are asking the most, from sports scores to movie trivia.
While Alexa can answer the vast majority of questions customers are asking every day, every once in a while, customers throw curve balls at us with various questions like “Where was Barbara Bush buried?” or “Who wrote the score for Lord of the Rings?” or “What’s cork made out of?” or “Where do bats go in the winter?”
Now, in addition to advanced technology—such as machine learning and natural language understanding—and our many trustworthy information sources, we’re involving the Alexa customer community to help us answer questions Alexa can’t quite answer yet.
Beginning today, via invitation-only, customers can add answers and information to Alexa through a new feature we call Alexa Answers. Those who receive an invite via email can start contributing answers to Alexa today. We're excited to get Alexa customers involved. In the last month, through our internal Alexa Answers beta program, we've added more than 100,000 responses which have been given to customers millions of times.
For nearly 20 years, we’ve allowed customers to offer their input on Amazon.com product pages through customer reviews and community-based answers. Similarly, with Alexa Answers, now customers can help add facts to Alexa from which the tens of millions of customers in the Alexa community can benefit.
How it works
The Alexa Answers website allows invited customers to answer questions, asked by other customers, that Alexa currently does not know the answer to. Topics are varied and range from science to geography to music. Once on the website, customers can browse through topic categories, select a question that appeals to them, type their response, and click "submit." 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.
Example questions customers may answer on Alexa Answers
- How many birds migrate?
- What is Juniper syrup?
- Where is the most snowfall?
- Where was the world’s largest wave surfed?
- How long does it take for an ice cube tray to freeze?
We still have a way to go to achieve our vision of answering every question in all forms from anywhere in the world. But with the launch of Alexa Answers, we’re excited to empower the Alexa community to make Alexa even more helpful and informative on behalf of customers.
Learn more about all things Alexa.