Amazon wants Alexa to stand out from the competition and that involves making its digital personal assistant feel more natural and improving its personal skills. Alexa is already pretty good at offering suggestions and recommendations for a wide variety of things. In the future, the assistant will be able to think for herself, meaning that she’ll have her own opinions about the things that are recommended to the user.

Amazon Fire TV VP Marc Whitten told TechCrunch that the idea behind this is to expand the assistant’s abilities from just running fact-based queries via voice to add conversational ability. This means that users will eventually be able to have engaging conversations with Alexa.

“Having an opinion makes you more interesting, even as an assistant,” Whitten said. Alexa will thus be able to provide users with information about TV shows or even beer for that matter and then back up her recommendations with her own opinion on those things.

Whitten adds that this ability to offer opinions will be “the 2018 version of the video buff at the video rental store.” Alexa will rely on the power of machine learning for this ability with the longer-term goal being that her own set of opinions won’t need to be created by an editorial team at Amazon.

“At the scale we’re talking – Alexa is now launched in seven countries – you can’t editorialize opinion on everything. That doesn’t work,” Whitten said.

Filed in General. Read more about Alexa and Amazon.

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