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Evan Mulawski avatar image
Evan Mulawski asked

What sources does Alexa use for information?

If I say "Alexa, tell me about X", where does the information about X come from (e.g. Wikipedia)? Can the responses be influenced or improved?

For example, if X is your not-very-well-known brand, can you update something with information about it to help Alexa understand what it is?

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Anand@Amazon avatar image
Anand@Amazon answered

Hi Evan,

There are multiple ways of retrieving data about any item(eg. X).

1. Use external API to look for data like from wikipedia and retrieve it and use it in your skill.

2. You can use database to store all the information and later you can retrieve and use it in your skill but there is a limitation for that.

3. You can even create a data array into your skill and provide all necessary data into the skill but these data will be static and won't changed unless developers changed it.

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I understand developers can do anything on a skill's backend, but I'm talking about Alexa's built-in search functionality. For example, if I ask "What is the University of New Hampshire?", Alexa responds with the first sentence from its Wikipedia article. However, if I ask "What is the University of Maine?", Alexa responds "The University of Le Mans is a French university, based in Le Mans.". If I leave out "the", Alexa responds "Maine, the University". Is there any way to improve/fix these responses?

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Jenn@amazon avatar image
Jenn@amazon answered

Alexa gets her information from a variety of trusted sources such as IMDb, Accuweather, Yelp, Answers.com, Wikipedia and many others. The source used depends on the question asked and whether or not you are engaged with a third-party skill. In addition, third- party skills have their own source data. For example Uber, Dominos and other skills pull data from their own proprietary sources.

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I understand developers can do anything on a skill's backend, but I'm talking about Alexa's built-in search functionality. For example, if I ask "What is the University of New Hampshire?", Alexa responds with the first sentence from its Wikipedia article. However, if I ask "What is the University of Maine?", Alexa responds "The University of Le Mans is a French university, based in Le Mans.". If I leave out "the", Alexa responds "Maine, the University". Is there any way to improve/fix these responses?

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Best way to provide feedback on responses is through the App. A card should be added with the question and under the drop down is an option to provide feedback. (I've done it myself and the feedback gets back to the right team)

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