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Amazon Alexa Beta Testing Crowd-Sourced Responses For Questions

Amazon declared this week that it is beta testing Alexa Answers, an invitation-only initiative for consumers to include responses for queries that Alexa cannot answer. Amazon claims that in the past month of its internal beta program (Alexa Answers), 100,000 answers have been included and served to users a number of times.

Beginning this week, restricted users who have got email invitations can take part through the website for Alexa Answers. Consumers can browse via different topic categories, such as geography and science, and select to answer queries, which have been asked by other users that Alexa does not know the answers to. Those responses might then be served to other Alexa users, and their responses will be credited to an Amazon user.

On its descriptive page, Amazon lists some example queries that have puzzled Alexa such as, “Where was Barbara Bush buried?” and “Where was the biggest wave in the world surfed?” It is a little strange since most of the queries they list as samples appear as though they had have simple answers that Alexa can find via its Bing-fueled knowledge graph, which gathers data from different sources.

Speaking of Alexa, one of the new functions launched at Amazon hardware event earlier was the capability of whispering to your Amazon Echo device. In addition to this, the new feature will have Alexa whisper back to you. Amazon verified to the media that this function, dubbed as “whisper mode,” is now launching out to US consumers.

Whisper mode will expectedly be most helpful around kids, whether it is to get the children in the mindset that it is bedtime and they must be quiet, or to prevent waking a sleeping kid. Consumers can whisper general Alexa instructions and the virtual assistant will whisper to you right back.