Amazon Plans to broaden the knowledge of its AI Assistant- Alexa, and it hopes to do so with the help of any and everyone via its newly launched crowd-sourced Alexa Answer Program
According to Amazon, the new CAAP initiative is aimed towards enlightening the AI Assistant, and at that will let Alexa users add answers to questions that Alexa may be oblivious about. The CAAP, although was made available to invited-users during the beta launch in December 2018, is now available for everyone starting from today, 12th of September.
With the latest development, users will have the option to filter questions by category; for instance, “most frequently asked questions,” “newest questions,” or general topic areas, like science or geography, and then submit the answer (assuming they have a knowledge of what it maybe). Amazon is also looking to make the system interesting (more of like a game); As seen in the image below, Users will earn points when Alexa uses their answer, and they can compete on leaderboards to contribute the most helpful responses. You’ll also be able to track how often Alexa uses your questions and answers respectively.
While the CAAP seems to be a very resourceful system, it may also face issues related to fact-checking which if not properly carried out may lead to misinformation. As of now, Amazon doesn’t seem to have any formal system to confirm that the answers being submitted are correct.
However, as part of the company’s attempt to ensure that information submitted are genuine ones, Alexa users can react to another user-submitted response using emoji-reactions, for instance users can either ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ to show positivity or negativity respectively.
Also, there is as an Amazon-style star-based rating system that exists on the Alexa Answers website, but it’s entirely reliant on customers rating on their own which may not be reliable in cases where it portrays average mark.
Additionally, if more than one answer is given, Amazon says that “Alexa may rotate between answers until she gains enough feedback to determine which answer is the most useful,” which seems like a poor substitute for actually determining which one is correct.
Still, plugging the holes in the knowledge of smart assistants is a key part of making them smarter, and getting your customers to volunteer their time to do it for free. Of course, that is a better alternative for Amazon who would have had to pay contractors to carry out the job.