Amazon’s new Alexa Answers feature is just asking to be vandalised

Amazon has launched a new Alexa Answers beta, which will enable Echo device owners to help the personal assistant become smarter. The new program lets invited users contribute knowledge via a new website, which features a selection of questions that have Alexa stumped.

So, if you know how many birds migrate, where the most snowfall is, or how long it takes an ice cube tray to freeze, then your contributions will be gratefully received by the popular personal assistant, the company revealed in a blog post on Thursday. An internal beta program last month delivered the answers to a whopping 100,000 questions, which have now been added to Alexa’s repertoire and delivered to millions of customers.

The answers are upvoted and downvoted by the community also, in order to ensure accuracy, while those offering answers are being asked to keep them short and sweet.

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On the Amazon blog, Bill Barton wrote: “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.”

Amazon told The Verge, it’s the “most engaged Alexa customers and customer reviewers from Amazon.com” who are being prioritised here, which certainly makes a lot of sense. If you’re among of those customers you’ll receive an email inviting you to the party.

Have you received an invite to Alexa Answers? Share your experiences with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.