Alexa 'Answer Update' Feature Will Get Back to You LaterAugust 7, 2018
Amazon Alexa doesn’t have all the answers. But now, the virtual assistant can remember questions it can’t answer, and get back to you later if it finds an appropriate response.
As was first reported by Voicebot.ai, this new Alexa feature is called “Answer Update.” Editor Bret Kinsella said he first encountered the feature on Monday when Alexa asked if he wanted to enable it.
“If you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer but I find out later, I’ll notify you,” Alexa explained, according to the report.
The Best Smart Speakers
In a statement to PCMag, Amazon said it will be rolling out this feature to “all Alexa customers over the coming week.”
“The Alexa service is getting smarter every day, and Answer Updates is just another way we’re continuing to expand Alexa’s Knowledge Graph,” Amazon said.
This is an optional feature that is not enabled by default. To enable it, say “Alexa, enable answer updates.” Alexa may also prompt you to turn it on after answering a question. To disable, say “Alexa, turn off answer updates.”
“Once Answer Updates is turned on, each time you ask Alexa a factual/informational question and she doesn’t know the answer, she will go find it and send you a notification on the Echo device when she has it,” Amazon explained. “This means the device’s light ring will circulate with a green light and there will be a chime.”
Alexa might not be able to answer all your questions, but the virtual assistant can help you do something else: shop. Unfortunately for Amazon, nobody really uses that feature.
The Information on Monday reported that “only a small fraction of smart speaker owners use them to shop, and the few who do try it don’t bother again.” The site says just 2 percent of people with Alexa-enabled devices have used them to purchase something with their voice this year. Meanwhile, market research company eMarketer last year reported that just 1.3 percent of Amazon sales in the US came from Alexa as of February 2017.