Those who use Amazon's Alexa to help them out on a regular basis—whether it be with the Echo or another piece of Amazon-owned technology—are familiar with asking Alexa hundreds, if not thousands of questions. While helpful, one issue is the unintentional mistake of asking Alexa the same question more than once without Alexa noticing.
But now that will change, as a new feature called "Answer Update" will be available in the next week or so. According to TechCrunch, this feature will tell users whenever Alexa has learned the answer to a question that was previously unknown. So, if Alexa previously didn't know how to respond to a specific question, it will later inform the user that it knows the answer to that question later on.
The idea behind this feature allows Amazon to use Alexa's ever-growing Knowledge Graph, which is their informational database that holds facts and figures that Alexa would use to answer questions from their user. Prior to this, if Alexa didn't know the answer to a question, it would respond by not answering the question at all. It would simply tell the user, “Sorry, I didn’t understand the question," or something to that effect. Now, it seems like that will be a thing of the past.
The Answer Update comes up whenever a user asks Alexa a factual question it doesn't know the answer to. It does not come up in the aftermath of listening to a news item, or information related to a news item. It will come up randomly for users after being turned on by the user. Once on, there's an on-device notification as soon as Alexa learns the answer to an old question. If a user doesn't want to activate this feature, they can turn it off by telling Alexa to do so.
Amazon's Answer Update for Alexa-supported devices is, admittedly, not going to solve every problem that comes with Alexa not knowing the answer to a certain question. Having said that, it is a smart step that could make things easier for users when it comes to keeping them informed. As the software's Knowledge Graph continues to become smarter, users will slowly become smarter as a result.