Alexa is artificial intelligence, it’s a virtual assistant, it’s community: the demonstration in the Alexa Answers initiative to officially debut overseas these days. It allows users to directly answer questions posed by other people. A sort of platform for shared knowledge, through which to resolve doubts and reply to the questions of others, with the AI of Amazon acting exclusively as intermediary.
Currently accessible only in the United States, it allows anyone to answer questions such as: “How many rivers are flowing in Brazil?”, “How much do you need to sleep each day to stay healthy?”. Questions to which an algorithm can hardly cope since it is difficult to find the correct information from online resources.
The Alexa Answers project was launched last year in a private beta phase accessible by a few thousand users and a larger scale rollout has now been launched. Once a response is received, Alexa reproduces it by specifying that it arrives from another user. These are the words of Bill Barton, Vice President of Alexa Information for Amazon.
Our guiding star, our vision, is that we would like Alexa to be able to answer every question regardless of language or whoever asks it, on any device.
To date the objective does not seem reachable, at least not yet. This is why AI sometimes has to step aside and let users answer themselves.