Amazon announced Alexa Answers today, which is a new effort to expand Alexa’s ability to answer questions by allowing customers to submit responses to unanswered questions. Customers will be able to browse questions asked by Alexa users and submit answers to those questions. When a future customer asks Alexa the same questions, they may receive the customer submitted answer as a response.
The program is launching via invitation-only today. Amazon says they’ve used the service internally for the last month and have already added more than 100,000 responses that have been given to customers millions of times. Submitted answers will be moderated using a voting system. There will also be automated filters to keep offensive questions and answers off of the system.
Alexa will specify that the response it gives has come from “an Amazon customer,” so it will be easy to tell which answers are based on the usual assortment of sources and which have been submitted by other users. Amazon will be sending invites to “engaged Alexa customers and customer reviewers on Amazon.com.” If the program goes well, it may be opened to the general public in the future.