Conversational AI-driven recommendation engine launches out of beta testing on Fire TV

A little-known feature of Fire TV devices is the ability to say “What should I watch?” to Alexa to launch a conversational AI-driven recommendation interface that can help you whittle down the abundance of available streaming content. The feature first launched a year ago with the introduction of Amazon’s own Omni Series Fire TVs and now it is out of beta and available to everyone.

Saying “What should I watch?” to a Fire TV doesn’t launch the standard voice search interface, as most content-related questions do. Instead, it takes you to a dedicated screen where you can narrow down content recommendations with various filters. While there is a small selection of filter buttons along the top of the screen to pick from with your remote, there are many more unlisted filters because the primary way you are expected to interact with this feature is through voice, as if you were having a conversation with Alexa.

While using the feature, each command you give will further narrow down the displayed recommendations. You can slowly walk through what you want by saying something like “Movies,” and then saying “Comedies,” and then saying “Popular,” and so forth. However, the engine powering the feature is made to understand natural speech, so you can just say something like “I want to watch a new scary movie that is free” from the beginning and the feature will automatically enable the filters “Free To Me,” “Horror,” “Movies,” and “New” and list them along the top of the screen. At any point, you can say “Start over” to clear the filters.

According to Amazon, this Fire TV feature is supposed to mix recommendations that are personalized to you with the current popularity of titles and combine a bit of randomness. This is so the list of movies and TV shows displayed aren’t always the same each time you use the feature. The next time you find yourself endlessly scrolling through a streaming app, ask Alexa “what should I watch” to see if this new feature helps you out.

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