Do you ever wonder who's on the other end of your Alexa, answering all of your burning questions? Well, soon, it could be you.
Amazon is introducing its new "Alexa Answers" program, which will let anyone provide answers to questions Alexa can't answer.
Users can sign up to answer questions and earn "points" each time Alexa shares on of their answers. Users can browse questions that Alexa doesn't have answers for to find ones that match their areas of expertise.
According to Fast Company, Amazon will employ human editors as well as use algorithms to vet the user answers. Users can also up vote and down vote answers to help editors weed out erroneous answers. The system is reminiscent of Yahoo Answers or Quora, websites that also had real people answer questions from the community.
Users don't need to provide citations for their answers, so when Alexa serves a user generated answer, it will say "according to an Amazon customer." It will be difficult for users to determine where the information for user-generated answers come from.
RELATED: FedEx severs ties with Amazon
“We’re leaning into the positive energy and good faith of the contributors, and we use machine learning and algorithms to weed out the noisy few, the bad few,” Bill Barton, Amazon's Vice President of Alexa Information told Fast Company. “But we’re not going to suppress the magical experience we can give to 99 customers because one person had something different in mind.”
Thousands of customers were invited to beta test the program last year. The testing period helped Amazon log hundreds of thousands of responses.
The new program will help Alexa compete with Google Assistant and Apples Siri. For the past two years, Alexa has come in third place in an 800 question test conducted by Loup Ventures. Google Assistant won both years. Google Assistant has had the advantage of being able to take answers from the vast list of websites Google has indexed.