The Amazon Echo: A Speaker System That Does Fact-Checking

The Amazon Echo is a smart speaker system that also doubles as a helper gadget. How? The Echo houses Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, who can be controlled via voice commands. Connected to the web, Alexa can be asked to play music, search the web, order stuff online, find schedules, and now… fact-check politicians. What the what?


According to Engadget, good ol’ Alexa has a new trick up her sleeve, just in time for the US elections:

Duke Reporters’ Lab has introduced an Amazon Echo skill that lets you fact-check any politician scrutinized by PolitFact, or the Washington Post. If you want to know if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is telling it straight, you just have to ask your wireless speaker whether or not a claim is true.

It’s not perfect. You have to sit through a lengthy introductory spiel before you can ask your question, and Duke stresses that you should mention major keywords to get the right answer. Still, there’s a certain pleasure to knowing that you can call a would-be leader’s bluff while you’re busy making dinner.


We at Unbox can see the potential of this interesting device for the Philippine locale, where politics is mostly a sordid affair. Fact-check all the politicians! The possibilities are endlessly amusing.

Also, maybe Amazon can make a new skill for Alexa for fact-checking certain news items, like stuff from those “fake news sites”. Fact-check all the stuff on your news feed! That should be fun.


Or, you can just Google-fu all your fact-checking and save up some cash in exchange for the inconvenience of browsing the Interwebs for answers. Still, convenience is king for most folks nowadays.

The Amazon Echo will set you back $180 (~Php 9K) if you’re interested in a “smart wireless speaker” with a funky virtual assistant.

Source: Engadget

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