The U.S. presidential debates may be over, but there’s still almost two weeks to go until election day, so journalists are still furiously fact-checking candidates’ statements. There are plenty of sites and news organizations you can depend on for fact-checking, and now you can add your Amazon Echo to that list.
Using the Amazon Echo’s Skills feature, you can connect Alexa to Share the Facts to fact-check statements on the go. Share the Facts is actually a widget you can install on your website to provide fact-checking information which comes from PolitiFact, the Washington Post, and FactCheck.org.
So how does it work with the Amazon Echo? First, you have to open up your Amazon Echo mobile app, and install the Share the Facts skill.
There are over 100 Amazon Skills, which are like apps that you can connect to Alexa to add new functionality to the device. In this case, once the Skill is installed, you can ask Alexa to fact check certain questions related to fact-checking politicians.
To activate the skill, use the prompt Alexa ask the fact-checkers. You can then ask a variety of questions related to statements made by the presidential candidates, and any other politicians who have been fact-checked by the service. They provide some examples to get you started:
They provide some examples to get you started:
- “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?”
Not all the questions we tried out worked. Sometimes Alexa didn’t have the answer, while at others she simply misunderstands the question entirely. The service is also sorely lacking in context or nuance, which is often necessary when providing this kind of information.
Nonetheless, it’s an interesting way to quickly fact-check an issue, after which you can always turn to the sites that power Share the Facts to find out more.
To see the Skill in action, watch the video below:
What are your favorite Amazon Echo skills? Let us know in the comments.