How does Alexa knowing thousands of skills make Amazon Echo more valuable?
I fear that under the current infrastructure created by Amazon for ASK (Alexa Skill Kit) apps, the ballooning number of Skills will devalue the service. There are a number of fundamental reasons for this.
The Orphan Skills and Zombie Skills Quagmire
One of the largest issues is discovery, activation, quality and invocation. The model currently used by Amazon is based on the classic Apple iTunes App store model. This means one needs to:
- Search for Skills via an app or web store interface and read the basic descriptions.
- Anyone can make a Skill with little to no commitment. The entry barrier to create a Skill is about equal to the level of technical skill that was required to build a website in 2000.
- To activate the Skill, in most cases one only needs to perform a sort of install for the Skill to become available via a click in the app or website or a voice command.
- To use the new Skill one must remember the exact invocation phrase or phrases to successfully use the new Skill.
- There is no simple monetization for a Skill and therefore there is not an easy way to fund updates, upgrades and support in the future.
Quality Vs. Quantity
All of the points above suggest that the issues of quantity over quality will become almost insurmountable as the Skills reach past 25,000 on to 100,000. Data suggest that even with failed discovery and invocation just 31% of Skills have a consumer review.
The 7000+ Skills include many orphan Skills and zombie Skills that not only impact discovery and surfacing, the quality also weigh down users to become motivated to try new Skills.
As it stands today unless the entire edifice of how discovery, activation, quality, invocation and monetization is solved the number of Skills (or apps on other systems) pose a huge barrier.
I have researched and studied these Voice First issues since the 1980s. Part of my Voice First manifesto identified this quagmire and present dozens of solutions to solve every one of the issues. As time moves on it will become orders of magnitude more complex to solve this quagmire not only on the Alexa platform, but also on the Google, Cortana, Watson and Siri platforms.
For many reasons I will not go into detailed solutions here, but I can say that using an app or website to discover and activate a Voice First Skill or app is foolish and quite short sighted. Additionally not establishing a number of useful and adaptable monetization systems, developers will have little motivation to build the quality services and solutions over time.
We Can Fix This
Theses are all solvable issues and I will reiterate it presents a Google-class opportunity not to just one company but perhaps a multitude. Over the next 10 years as 50% of all computer interactions will be Voice mediated AI, these are the problems that startups are built upon. And it will likely come from a startup that no one knows of today to solve it, for many reasons, just as Google solved web search in a Yahoo world.
Thus, as it stands today, the number of Skills, voice apps or other programs can become an almost meaningless number that could signal some initial early developer interest that ultimately clog the system with Orphan Skills and Zombie Skills.
We can fix this—easily and I hope it is sooner rather than later.[amazon_link asins=’1542861330′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’multiplex-05-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a12f2816-f30f-11e6-8a3d-ff698e10f0bd’]
Subscribe ($99) or donate by Bitcoin.
Copy address: bc1q9dsdl4auaj80sduaex3vha880cxjzgavwut5l2
Send your receipt to Love@ReadMultiplex.com to confirm subscription.
IMPORTANT: Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. We are not financial advisors, nor do we give personalized financial advice. The opinions expressed herein are those of the publisher and are subject to change without notice. It may become outdated, and there is no obligation to update any such information. Recommendations should be made only after consulting with your advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of any company in question. You shouldn’t make any decision based solely on what you read here. Postings here are intended for informational purposes only. The information provided here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Information here does not endorse any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on this site. Reliance on any information provided, employees, others appearing on this site at the invitation of this site, or other visitors to this site is solely at your own risk.
All content on this website, including text, images, graphics, and other media, is the property of Read Multiplex or its respective owners and is protected by international copyright laws. We make every effort to ensure that all content used on this website is either original or used with proper permission and attribution when available.
However, if you believe that any content on this website infringes upon your copyright, please contact us immediately using our 'Reach Out' link in the menu. We will promptly remove any infringing material upon verification of your claim. Please note that we are not responsible for any copyright infringement that may occur as a result of user-generated content or third-party links on this website. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property rights.
All content on this website, including text, images, graphics, and other media, is the property of Read Multiplex or its respective owners and is protected by international copyright laws. We make every effort to ensure that all content used on this website is either original or used with proper permission and attribution when available. However, if you believe that any content on this website infringes upon your copyright, please contact us immediately using our 'Reach Out' link in the menu. We will promptly remove any infringing material upon verification of your claim. Please note that we are not responsible for any copyright infringement that may occur as a result of user-generated content or third-party links on this website. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property rights.