So, how exactly is Amazon planning to keep Alexa Answers from turning into a toxic trollfest?
For starters, according to Fast Company, filters will screen out “obvious profanity” as well as anything with a troll-attracting “political angle,” while (in “some cases”) algorithms and humans could offer editorial oversight.
Finally, a Reddit-style upvote or downvote will act as the last line of defense against “low-quality” answers. Too many downvotes, and Amazon will offer up fewer of your answers to Alexa, the Fast Company story says.
On the flipside, Amazon says it will encourage helpful users by giving them points and achievements based on such factors as how many answers they submit, their overall answer rating, and the number of times Alexa shares their answers.
While it makes sense that Amazon would turn to crowdsourcing when it comes to shoring up Alexa’s knowledge, allowing anyone and everyone to submit answers to Alexa questions seems, well, problematic. It’ll be interesting to see whether Amazon’s planned safeguards will keep would-be Alexa trolls at bay.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.