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(Pocket-lint) - Congratulations, you can be the newest source for Alexa to use when answering people's questions.

In 2019, Amazon announced Alexa Answers, with the goal of helping Alexa answer difficult questions that would've normally stumped the assistant. The idea is that Alexa's answers to such stumpers can come from users like yourself.

If you want to participate, here's how.

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What is Alexa Answers?

While Alexa can answer many questions people are asking it every day, every once in a while it gets thrown a curveball. Niche or obscure questions - like "Where was Barbara Bush buried?" or "Who wrote the score for Lord of the Rings?" or "What's cork made out of?" or "Where do bats go in the winter?" - are the types of requests Alexa typically has trouble fielding from Alexa users.

Now, with Alexa Answers, Amazon is allowing all Alexa users to help answer these questions through the Alexa Answers website. The idea is, when Alexa is asked these questions by someone in the future, the assistant will use the crowd-sourced answers that users provide.

While testing this feature in 2019, Amazon said it added over 100,000 responses.

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How does Alexa Answers work?

There are various topics that you can select from to find questions already posed by other users. You can submit an answer, and going forward, Alexa will use the crowd-sourced answers it received - while noting they were submitted by Amazon customers. If more than one answer is provided, Alexa will rotate between answers until it determines via feedback which is best.

How to join

  1. Go to the Alexa Answers website and click Get started.
  2. Browse questions that match your interest or expertise.
  3. Write an answer for Alexa to share with other users.
  4. Alexa will then share your answer with a customer who asks the same question.
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Will Alexa Answers spread fake news?

It’s easy to see the potential in Alexa Answers; however, we too can imagine Alexa turning into something that spreads fake news and can’t be totally trusted.

Amazon likely hopes to mitigate this by allowing users to earn points when Alexa uses their answers. You’ll also be able to track how often Alexa uses your question and can even compete for who contributed the most helpful responses. You will also be able to provide feedback and flag answers you deem incorrect. There are even star ratings. For more information about Alexa Answers' "Points, Feedback, Ratings, and Impact" system, see this support page.

When will Alexa Answers be available?

It's now available for anyone to try!

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Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 6 December 2018.