Amazon today announced a series of updates to Alexa’s knowledge base so the intelligent assistant can deliver helpful information ahead of, during, and after the U.S. midterm elections scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
Alexa was asked millions of election-related questions in the lead-up to the 2016 election, Amazon VP of Alexa information Bill Barton said in a blog post today announcing plans to tap knowledge bases from the Associated Press and Ballotpedia.
Say “Alexa, what’s my election update,” and Alexa, basing answers on your location, will tell you about gubernatorial, congressional, or Senate candidates. Alexa is also now able to answer questions like “Alexa, when are the polls open?”
On Election Day, as the votes come in, Amazon is working with the Associated Press for Alexa to deliver election updates and tell Echo speaker users how a candidate is doing based on their name and deliver up-to-date results in closely watched congressional or U.S. Senate races.
Amazon Echo Show devices will also display visual information when answering questions like who won the gubernatorial race in any particular state or how many seats Democrats won or lost in the House.
Alexa’s conversational AI hasn’t figured out how to answer all your questions yet related to voting. Ask “Alexa, where’s my nearest polling place” and you still get Yelp local business results.
Alexa is an assistant that Amazon wants to seem more humanlike, VP Miriam Daniel recently told VentureBeat.
The personality team charged to make the intelligent assistant have decided Alexa is a she and a feminist, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Alexa has no political party.
Ask Alexa if she is a Democrat or a Republican and the assistant will say “There are no voting booths in the cloud. Believe me, I’ve looked. It’s all just 1s and 0s up here.”