Amazon’s Alexa device may have eyes and the ability to roam around in the near future as its developers try to improve the product’s understanding of the world.
Despite data privacy concerns that plagued Amazon about whether its device can record calls, the company plans to make its digital assistants a proactive companion.
Amazon’s chief scientist, Rohit Prasad, hinted that Alexa would soon be able to acquire sensory capabilities by equipping the devices with cameras.
By equipping the devices with cameras and essentially equipping them with a sense of proportion, technology can greatly help people, Prasad told the British Telegraph.
“If you think of our own intelligence, we can do only a limited number of things without our eyes,” he said.
“But I would not speculate if Alexa needs arms, legs, and eyes.”
Using an example of trying to schedule an evening, Prasad said Alexa’s extension would basically make sure everything was alright.
He said that Alexa could tell you about cinema screenings, buy cinema tickets, make a restaurant reservation and even order a taxi or tell you when to leave the house to avoid traffic.
Prasad said that these tasks would require a lot of pre-planning for a human, but the goal would be for Alexa to “practically help connect you to the right skills or services.”
He also suggested giving Alexa sensory skills in the future to better understand language and human behavior.
“As AI researchers, intelligence and perception go hand in hand,” he said.
“When you look at an AI stack, you have a set of sensory data, and based on that data, you do some modeling, such as: As the speech recognition.
“They model language to turn it into words or speech comprehension. They take the text and turn it into meaning. The next level is smart decisions.”
He acknowledged that some users might be dissatisfied for privacy reasons, but said that Amazon is working to ensure that users can easily delete their data.
“If you feel uncomfortable, say” Delete Alexa, what I said “or” Alexa delete everything I said today.
“We also started the automatic deletion, which allows you to set the deletion periodically, for example, every three or 18 months, depending on your choice, “he said.
Despite the ongoing concerns over the privacy of those using the Smart Helper, Amazon recently announced a slew of new virtual Assistant-powered devices including a pair of headphones and goggles.