Amazon’s Alexa can now answer follow-up questions

Amazon has quietly added contextual understanding to Alexa that allows the virtual assistant to understand follow-up questions. This means, if you ask a question like “who is the shortest NBA player?” and get the answer “Muggsy Bogues,” you can then ask “how tall is he?” and Alexa will know you are referring to the answer she just gave and respond with “Muggsy Bogues’s height is 5 feet 3 inches.” Another example is asking what time a local business opens and then, after being told the time, asking “what is their phone number?” without having to specify the name of the business again.

The new functionality seems to be limited right now, since it doesn’t always work when you’d expect it, but it’s a welcomed addition that makes conversing with Alexa a bit more natural. Credit goes to the reddit user who first noticed the change and to Android Police for putting it on my radar.

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6 comments
  1. Mark says:

    Odd. Seems to me that I have been able to ask followup questions for awhile now. And as described here (and on reddit) it just doesn’t work for everything. I never really thought about it being unique or anything.

  2. boudyka says:

    doesnt seem to have come across the pond yet

  3. clocks says:

    This stuff is getting pretty amazing.

  4. Anthony Sigalas says:

    still not available for U.K…

  5. Christopher Loughrey says:

    they’re very slow to release new features in the UK

  6. Deference to op, some excellent entropy.

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