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Soon Alexa might be as stupid as your neighborhood troll



Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

The next time you ask Alexa a question, the answer might come from an Internet connection. Amazon publicly launches its Alexa Answers program, which allows the company to build answers to questions Alexa has no answer for.

Alexa Answers was first introduced in December to a small beta group that is available by invitation only. The difference is now literally that everyone can contribute answers. Me, you, your neighbor Gary. Someone. If you choose the program, you will be asked to search questions that are "of your interest or expertise". From there, you can provide a response, which Alexa then tells Alexa and cites the source as "According to an Amazon customer." Amazon is also playing the process. Attendees will also receive a dashboard with statistics access, such as: How many answers they contributed, how their answers were rated, and how often their answers were shared by Alexa.

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Read more Read [19659008] Here are some examples of questions that stupefy Alexa:

  • How many birds are roaming?
  • What is juniper syrup?
  • Where does the most snow fall? How long does it take for an ice cube tray to freeze?
  • What states surround Illinois?
  • How much sleep does Stevie Wonder have?
  • How much is in one handle? Alcohol?

It's hard to imagine anyone knowing the answer to most of these questions. There is a possibility that participants only google the answer before entering it. According to a Fast Company report, Amazon does not need quotes for the sources that users use to find their answers. So, on the one hand, it's probably a crowdsourced solution for Amazon that does not have the rich search engine features of, say, Google Assistant. On the other hand, there is no obstacle to potential trolls trying to spam the program with joke answers. Apart from the dubious reputation of boasting leadership, there is no other incentive to work for Amazon for nothing than to introduce chaos.

"We rely on the positive energy and good faith of the contributors and we use machine learning and algorithms to weed out the few loud ones and the few bad ones. But we will not suppress the magical experience we can give 99 clients because a person had something else in mind, "said Bill Barton, vice president of Alexa Information at Amazon, to Fast Company.

Um, okay. For sure. Because algorithms never failed. Anyway, the next time Alexa answers your "Amazon customer" question, just look it up on your phone instead.

[Fast Company]


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