Amazon’s Alexa Can Now Ask You Follow-Up Questions

responding to demands from consumers for “an alexa, but make it talk even +,” amazon anncd on wed that its l8st digital assistant model ll'be able to infer a usr’s “l8nt goals,” and will use those to pose follo-up ?s to usrs.

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if you ask yr new alexa how long i'takes to cook an over-easy egg, alexa will tell you that i'takes roughly 1 1/2 minutes—and then ask you if you’d like to set a timer.

according to amazon, the update involves algorithmic tweaks and a deep learning model thall allo the device to evolve based on its relationship to the usr. if you’re asking alexa bout how to cook eggs every morning and always opting to set the timer, alexa’s discovery model will use active learning to improve its predictions and + accurately conclude whether or not you wanna know when those 1 1/2 minutes are up.

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“amazon’s goal for alexa s'dat customers ‘d find interacting with her as natural as interacting with another human bein’,” amazon wrote in a blog post. “while [apps] may experience ≠ results, our early metrics show that l8nt goal [inference] has increased customer engagement with some developers’ apps.”

amazon seems to ack the fact that l8nt goal discovery comes w'da potential to be very, very annoying. in early prototypes, when usrs requested “recipes for chicken”, for ex, alexa ‘d reprtedly follo up by asking, “do you want me to play chicken sounds?”

in order to mitigate the potential for unwanted suggestions, amazon has implemented a deep-learning-based trigger model that factors in “several aspects of the dialogue context, s'as the text of the customer’s current session with alexa and whether the customer has engaged with alexa’s multi-skill suggestions inna past.”

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