Amazon's Alexa is one of the most popular voice assistants out there, and NBC has interviewed a woman behind the smart voice assistant. This interview took place in Amazon's Seattle headquarters, and an executive in charge of Alexa, Toni Reid, was interviewed. Having said that, Toni Reid has been working at Amazon for 20 years at this point, which means she has a ton of experience when it comes to Amazon, and how things work over there. She started in recruiting 20 years ago, and has come a long way since then.
From recruiting, she moved into product management, and from there, she managed to get bigger opportunities at the company, the rest is history. Now, Toni Reid spends most of her time in Amazon's smart-home lab, which is located within the company's Seattle headquarters. That lab actually looks more or less like an apartment which has two kitchens, and Toni Reid says that it gives her and her team a better insight as to where Alexa is most used. She says that the whole apartment / lab is voice controlled, which gives her and her team plenty of data, as they're actually using Alexa intensively. Toni Reid also reflected on Alexa's recent mishaps, like the Amazon Echo incident where it reportedly recorded a husband and a wife at home and sent that to a random contact. She said that people still trust Alexa, and that Alexa only listens for the wake word, and when that happens, the device starts streaming… it's not recording anything while it's in its non-active state.
When asked about the 'ultimate goal' for Alexa, Toni Reid said that Amazon is doing its best to make its assistant more human-like, more personal. That is more or less everything that NBC got out of this interview, but it's going to be interesting to see the voice assistant competition in the coming years, as Google is coming strong with Google Assistant, while Siri and Cortana are lurking in the background as well.