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Surprise! No One Buys Things via Alexa
09 August 2018, 09:17 | Casey Mitchell
Alexa tell me what you didn't know
But Amazon's Alexa doesn't like it when there is a question posed that she can't answer. But that is going to change soon as the virtual personal assistant is getting an update which will enable it to respond to old unanswered questions.
Now if you turn on Answer Update, it'll reply with "If you ask me a question and I don't know the answer but I find out later, I'll notify you". But with Amazon rolling out the Answer Update feature, conversations with Alexa are likely to become more engaging. The user will need to enable the feature to use it, though.
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"We're excited for SEAT to incorporate Alexa into its vehicles", says Ned Curic, who is in charge of Amazon Alexa's automotive division. And those tricks Alexa might use in the future to juice up the voice-order business might come across as transparent ways to inject advertising into the home, which could in turn result in people just asking it to shut up. Once a user receives that update, Alexa will verbally ask the user if they want to enable Answer Updates. The new feature in Amazon Alexa will notify users when the voice assistant learns the answer to questions it didn't previously know. "This means the device's light ring will circulate with a green light and there will be a chime".
Engagement with Alexa remains high, but this seems mostly centred around the assistant's Skills set - the commands that can answer questions, playback media, set timers and reminders and more. One of the other features, being an Amazon product after all, is the ability to order items via voice and shop.
With the new feature, Alexa will respond to unknown queries by informing the user that it now does not have the answer in the database but will find it out and notify them later. Of course, by the time an updated answer is available, the user will no doubt have Googled it.
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