Meet the woman behind Amazon's Alexa

Meet the woman behind Amazon's Alexa

As Amazon moves to make Alexa even more human, meet the woman behind the smart device.

One-quarter of all American households now have an Amazon Echo powered by Alexa. But the surge in popularity of these virtual assistants comes with new questions about convenience, and privacy — especially as the company looks to make the smart speaker more "human."

Alexa has captured 70 percent of the voice market share in the United States, according to Alpine AI, with customers turning to the device for anything from playlists to recipes to finding their phone. It's become a major source of revenue for Amazon, in particular because it generates larger spending from Amazon Prime members, according to a new report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

NBC News obtained exclusive access to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and an interview with the executive in charge of Alexa, Toni Reid, to learn a little more about the future of this pint-sized device.

Reid has worked at Amazon for 20 years, first joining as a member of the then-startup’s recruiting team bringing new talent to the company.

“I started in recruiting and it was actually a really great place for me to be because I ended up learning a lot about different parts of the business,” Reid recalls about the early days of Amazon. “I moved from there into product management. One of the teams that I supported actually hired me into their business, and from there I just started taking on new and bigger opportunities.”

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