If you know a thing or two about AI, or machine-learning, then you probably know that any machine needs to be trained. If this is the case, you were most definitely not shocked by the news that Amazon employs a global team that manually review requests and transcribe them in an attempt to improve Alexa’s listening capabilities.
According to Bloomberg, thousands of people around the world listen to recordings from Amazon’s Echo speaker and transcribe, annotate and feed them back into the system. The process of adding a human element to a machine-learning process is commonly known as ‘Human-in-the-loop”.
A representative for Amazon is quoted saying “We take the security and privacy of our customers’ personal information seriously. We only annotate an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order to improve the customer experience.
I personally understand that this is a crucial step to imporving the AI and am not bothered or suprised one bit by the news. But then again, I work in a tech company that uses machine learning, so I may be biased 😉
Does the fact that humans are listening and annotating a sample of Alexa data bother you? Let me know!
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Mary Drumond is Chief Marketing Officer at survey tech startup Worthix, and host of the Voices of Customer Experience Podcast. Originally a passion project, the podcast runs weekly and features some of the most influential CX thought-leaders, practitioners and academia on challenges, development and the evolution of CX.