Alexa has become Amazon’s new source of data

Amazon Alexa assistance

When you ask people what do they use you Amazon Alexa for? The answers would be like turn on/off lights, play music, read some news or order kitchen stuff. This normal information can be a valuable data to Amazon in putting its voice-operated assistant competitors in check.

“There are millions of these in households, and they’re not collecting dust, We get an insane amount of data coming in that we can work on,” Nikko Strom, a speech-recognition expert and founding member of the team at Amazon that built Alexa and Echo, said at a conference in Santa Clara. He also said that the data had already helped the company in making progress in speech recognition.

According to Technology review, the data Amazon is amassing to take on problems like that could be unique. Standard datasets available for training and testing speech recognition systems don’t usually include audio captured in home environments, or using microphone arrays like that the Echo uses to focus on speech from a particular direction, says Abeer Alwan, a professor at University of California, Los Angeles, who works on speech recognition.

The data piling up from Alexa could also help Amazon fend off Google’s Echo competitor, Google Home. Google can draw on years of work in Web search and voice search, and sizeable investments in artificial intelligence. But its products other than Google Home do not collect speech like that of a person calling out to a device in the home, or on the same type of requests people ask home assistants to serve. Amazon is hoping that this could be the next web-search like market for them. As the reviews suggest that Alexa and Google Home works in a similar way, accuracy and intelligence of the assistance could play a crucial role in deciding the market leader.

Amazon is estimated to have sold more than five million Echo devices, which have the voice-activated Alexa assistant inside. Alexa is also set to start appearing in products, such as cars, refrigerators and speakers from other companies.

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