Fact-checking comes to the Amazon Echo
New skill from the Duke Reporters’ Lab allows users to 'ask the fact-checkers'
By Erica Ryan – October 21, 2016 | Print this article
The Duke Reporters’ Lab has created a new fact-checking app for the Amazon Echo.
The app is a spin-off of Share the Facts, a project that has expanded the reach of fact-checking. The launch partners are PolitiFact, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker and FactCheck.org.
With the new Share the Facts skill, owners of the Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices, including the Tap and the Dot, can “ask the fact-checkers” about claims they hear from presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as other candidates and politicians who have been checked.
Share the Facts is now available in the Skills section of the Alexa app. (To find it, open the Alexa app on your smartphone, click on the left navigation panel, and then select “Skills.” From there, you can search for “Share the Facts” and select “Enable Skill.”)
We encourage you to try checking candidates’ claims from your couch after watching a campaign ad or during a discussion around the dinner table.
To begin a query, say: “Alexa, ask the fact-checkers.” (If you’re using the Tap, you’ll need to press the microphone button first and then say, “Ask the fact-checkers.”)
We have found it often works best if you wait for Alexa to reply, “Welcome to Share the Facts. We consolidate fact-checks from some of the most respected journalists in the U.S. Ask me to check a fact you’re wondering about” — and then ask your question, such as:
- “Did Donald Trump oppose the war in Iraq?”
- “Was Hillary Clinton right that her email practices were allowed?”
- “Is it true that 300,000 Floridians have lost their health insurance because of Obamacare?”
Try to use the most important keywords in your question, following the examples above.
Share the Facts uses natural speech recognition to analyze and answer your questions from our database of roughly 2,000 professionally curated fact-checks. We scale our results so that they are timely and have the most consensus among our partners.
We welcome your feedback on our new Echo skill Share the Facts. Please send your thoughts to Share the Facts project manager Erica Ryan.