Even though your omnipresent Alexa is always listening, you might not feel like your virtual assistant knows you on a deeply personal level.

Alexa's creator and chief scientist Rohit Prasad wants to change that. In a conversation with MIT Technology Review, Prasad shared details about what's next for Alexa. He'd like for Alexa to be able to predict what you want before you even ask for it. Instead of waiting for your commands, the future Alexa may be able to think two steps ahead.

"The crux of the plan is for the voice assistant to move from passive to proactive interactions," MIT explains.

Here are two examples of what this could look like:

  • Alexa lets you know that your flight is delayed. Based on your location, she's able to tell if you've already left for the airport, so she can deliver the message to either your car or your home.

  • You order movie tickets. Alexa then asks if you'd like to pre-book an Uber and make reservations at your favorite nearby restaurant. 

Laying the groundwork for an all-knowing Alexa.

For this plan to unfold as Prasad outlined, two things needs to happen.

First, Alexa's technology needs to get a lot smarter. Alexa needs to grow up from a speaker that plays music and cracks dad jokes. Its engineers need to figure out ways to connect different types of data that arrive in different formats, and parse them accordingly. 

Second, Amazon needs to capture a lot more data about you. For Alexa to be able to predict your movements and preferences, she needs to be able to follow you everywhere, so she can capture data and learn. Amazon recently unveiled a slew of smart wearable devices -- wireless earbuds, a smart ring, and smart eyeglasses -- that would enable Alexa to get more of that data. 

The product page for Echo Loop, the smart ring, states that it "gives you one-click access to Alexa, so you can seamlessly tackle tasks from anywhere." It also gives Alexa everywhere access to you, so she can seamlessly capture data from anywhere.

Published on: Nov 12, 2019
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