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New Skill...WebMD

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New Skill...WebMD
« on: March 08, 2017, 12:49:46 pm »
Now Alexa can play Dr and pharmacist.  Is there no end to her talents? ;)

Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017, 01:39:48 pm »
Cool. Thanks for the heads up. Just enabled it.

Offline coyote

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Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017, 05:28:17 pm »
Alexa, it hurts when I move my arm behind my back.

"Don't do that."

 8)

Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 06:25:58 pm »
Like 99% of the so called "skills", this one is also not ready for Prime Time.
Like most of the rest of the garbage skills, it responds with either "I don't know", or in the case of a generic drug name query, Just hangs up.
I do wish that Amazon would edit or limit the multitude of unskilled "skills" offered by amateurs intent on wasting our time.
If it is broke, DON'T PUBLISH
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 02:27:40 am by ganeyvim »

Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 12:46:30 am »
From the very start a couple of years ago,  I also said the skills were not ready for prime time. 
Nice to know things haven't changed much; saves me time looking.

Offline coyote

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Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2017, 09:33:58 am »
Like 99% of the so called "skills", this one is also not ready for Prime Time.
Like most of the rest of the garbage skills, it responds with either "I don't know", or in the case of a generic drug name query, Just hangs up.
I do wish that Amazon would edit or limit the multitude of unskilled "skills" offered by amateurs intent on wasting our time.
If it is broke, DON'T PUBLISH
I limit what I try to do with Alexa. I don't really want to go too in-depth with it; if I want conversation, I'll talk to my wife or family or friends. I like it as a 'command' device. A weather forecast, shopping list adds, turn on/off various devices or change channels or volume or speakers, etc. So most of the garage 'skills' don't affect me at all. And anything that is in-depth, which presumably health advice falls into, is worth getting out the iPad to actually study.

Offline jwlv

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Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2017, 12:05:27 pm »
Probably due to movies and tv, many people expect that an AI voice assistant can do a lot more than it actually can. Take for instance Star Trek, HAL, War Games, or even Rosie from the Jetsons cartoon.

The fact is that Alexa can do very little compared to the AI's seen in movies and tv. All of us in this forum already know that. But a large number of the general public do not. And for us, we don't expect Alexa to replace our smartphones, tablets, computers, or anything else. Alexa adds a bit of convenience when using those devices. For example, if you have Wemo or TP-Link light switches, you can ask Alexa to turn on a light for you. That's convenience. If Alexa didn't exist, then you'd have to use the app on your phone to do the same. You can ask Alexa for the weather and she'll happily give it to you. Otherwise, you'd use your phone or tablet and go to a weather website to get the weather. If you enabled the Domino's Pizza skill, you can ask Alexa to order a pizza for you. If not, then you'd pick up the phone and order it.

Is Alexa AI? Kind of. Can she do everything? Absolutely not! Not even close. Are the general public expecting too much? I'm afraid so. What's next? Be realistic in your expectations. The AI in movies and tv will come eventually.

For those of you who remember back in 1984 there was ARPAnet, but it wasn't the internet. Only universities and perhaps military installations had it. The internet and world wide web wasn't born until 10 years after that. Advanced consumer technology was a 300 baud dialup modem. 300 baud is about the speed of a fast typist. The leading manufacturer of modems was Hayes and their flagship product was the Hayes Smartmodem. It was "smart" because you can type commands on your keyboard to have it dial out and hang up without having to physically pick up a telephone handset and put it in a modem's cradle. It's amazing how far we've come.

Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2017, 12:21:42 pm »
Thanks for the reality check.  They are needed once in a while.

Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 12:27:54 pm »
Be realistic in your expectations.

Exactly
As for WebMD, I don't expect it to diagnose cancer or do anything other
than light duty general questions.  I've only used it once and that was to
test it after enabling the skill.  It correctly listed (the main) symptoms of an
illness and side effects of a couple of medications. 

Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 12:55:53 pm »
In my original Post I was complaining about WebMD and other "Skills".
This was not to knock Alexa, or expect miracles from a technology that is in it's infancy.
There are a a handful of Skills and usages which are quite fantastic and work exactly as expected.
Such as IFTTT triggers, TP-link on off switches (in my case), your choice of News, Radio Stations, Alarms, Calendar, to do lists, Wikepedia, Google Hack, etc, etc.
My complaint is the endless amount of at best, "Alpha" skills that are allowed to be published, just to brag about the thousands of Skills.

Offline coyote

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Re: New Skill...WebMD
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2017, 10:57:03 pm »
In my original Post I was complaining about WebMD and other "Skills".
This was not to knock Alexa, or expect miracles from a technology that is in it's infancy.
There are a a handful of Skills and usages which are quite fantastic and work exactly as expected.
Such as IFTTT triggers, TP-link on off switches (in my case), your choice of News, Radio Stations, Alarms, Calendar, to do lists, Wikepedia, Google Hack, etc, etc.
My complaint is the endless amount of at best, "Alpha" skills that are allowed to be published, just to brag about the thousands of Skills.
I got that, and agree wholeheartedly. But I also get why Amazon is allowing it. If there were just a few hundred very well built skills, the 'buzz' that is propelling their real advances would also dissipate.