Alexa's newest feature lets the A.I. get back to you with an answer


In yet another evolutionary step in the artificial intelligence contest between Amazon and Google, Amazon confirmed this week that a new feature called "Answer Update" will enable Alexa to percolate on a question she doesn't know the answer to, and inform users once she's learned the answer. Factual questions only, please; we don't think it's healthy to ask a robot if it loves you and then stew on it for a while. We've seen that movie already. The feature, first spotted by Voicebot, was prompted after listening to a news item and asking follow-up questions. The intelligent assistant first asks if users want to enable "Answer Updates," a feature that users can also opt out of on command.

Amazon rolls out 'Answer Update' feature that lets Alexa get back to you later with responses

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Your questions will never go unanswered again by Alexa. Amazon is rolling out a feature called'Answer Update' that notifies users when Alexa learns the answer to a question that it didn't know right away. The feature, which was first spotted by Voicebot, should start appearing for users in the coming days. Amazon is launching a feature called'Answer Update' that notifies users when Alexa learns the answer to a question it didn't know right away. Users can opt in to the feature by asking their Echo device to'turn on Answer Update.' Alexa will then respond by explaining what the feature is.

Sony says its new soundbar and wireless headphones will soon work with Alexa

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Fans of Sony's high-end audio products will soon be able to control what they listen to – using the sound of their voices. The Japanese firm has announced that users will be able to use Amazon's Alexa smart assistant to control its soundbar and wireless headphones. This will give them access to tens of thousands of skills built into the AI software, including asking to play music, hear the news, and control smart home devices. Owners of compatible hardware will need to install the latest firmware updates to enable the voice assistant. Sony has yet to confirm the exact headphone and soundbars models that will get the firmware update.

Alexa will recommend third-party skills for things it can't do


When Amazon's Alexa doesn't know how the answer to a question, the digital assistant typically just says so. I don't know that," Alexa may start to recommend third-party skills to help you out more effectively. In a video shot by Voicebot's Bret Kinsella, you can clearly hear Alexa recommending a non-Amazon skill to answer his question about Apple stock prices. According to Kinsella, after Alexa asked if he wanted to use a skill to answer his stock query, it went straight to a genera listing of prices instead of addressing the specific question he originally asked. If Alexa can't figure out what you need, then surely there's a skill that might.

Alexa now tells you when it can answer old questions


When you ask a voice assistant a question it doesn't have an answer for, that's usually the end of the story unless you're determined to look up the answer on another device. Amazon doesn't think the mystery should go unsolved, though. It's trotting out an opt-in "Answer Update" feature for Alexa that notifies you when the AI helper has an answer to a previous question it couldn't address. The trick is limited to factoids, a spokesperson told TechCrunch, but that could still prove helpful if your curiosity is still rampant months later. Answer Update is reaching Alexa devices over the course of the next week, so you'll have to be patient if you aren't part of the first wave.