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They could retrieve news articles found in The Washington Post, the newspaper that Bezos privately owns, through a licensing deal that gave them access.They could pull facts from Wikipedia, a film database or the book recommendation site Goodreads.
This year's Alexa Prize winner, a 12-person team from the University of California, Davis, used more than 300,000 movie quotes to train computer models to recognize distinct sentences.But Alexa's gaffes are alienating others, and Bezos on occasion has ordered staff to shut down a bot, three people familiar with the matter said.The user who was told to whack his foster parents wrote a harsh review on Amazon's website, calling the situation "a whole new level of creepy." A probe into the incident found the bot had quoted a post without context from Reddit, the social news aggregation site, according to the people. Consumers might not realize that some of their most sensitive conversations are being recorded by Amazon's devices, information that could be highly prized by criminals, law enforcement, marketers and others.Or they could find a popular post on social media that seemed relevant to what a user last said. During last year's contest, a team from Scotland's Heriot-Watt University found that its Alexa bot developed a nasty personality when they trained her to chat using comments from Reddit, whose members are known for their trolling and abuse.The team put guardrails in place so the bot would steer clear of risky subjects.