According to The information, The echo speakers would soon speak to you even without being prompted. This means you will be prompted information from all your connected services. For example, the arrival of an important email or weather forecast or a flight landing delay etc.
Currently, The echo doesn't speak to you without being prompted. You have to use the command ‘Alexa’ for it to be able to listen to you and respond in its own voice.
The Echo currently has both speaking and vision (sensor based) abilities. Coming up with the option of self-activation does not mean that you’ll have to deal with an all-time talking robot. It will also have the settings to adjust based on how much intrusion and disturbance you will be allowing it to do.
Alexa is also an independent service and functions on other devices as well, other than The Echo, which means the extension of the push notification services to other devices as well.
What is left to see is this service actually functioning. Having a device alerting you via voice is very different from having a subtle vibration or beep with a visual alert on a device. Also, the success and usage of this service will depend on person to person.