Amazon's virtual assistant gets election fact-check feature

Amazon's virtual assistant gets election fact-check feature

Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant product has a new trick: It will help you fact-check the presidential candidates.

Now, owners of the company’s Echo or other devices featuring Alexa can ask questions about statements made by the candidates. For example, they can ask whether Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE opposed the war in Iraq, as he has said, or about Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWarren policy ideas show signs of paying off Biden at campaign kickoff event: I don't have to be 'angry' to win Top Dem: Trump helps GOP erase enthusiasm gap; Ohio a big problem MORE’s personal email account.

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They'll get answers from major fact-checking outlets like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact, as well as the fact-checkers at The Washington Post.

The feature was created by the Duke Reporters Lab at Duke University. Users must enable the feature to use it.

The virtual assistant will now be able to deliver real-time election results, too, including details of the popular vote and the Electoral College race.

The company said people are already using the devices to get information about the presidential debates between Trump and Clinton. A spokesperson said that during the debate there was a 4,000 percent uptick in inquiries linked to the Spanish word “hombre”; Trump used the phrase “bad hombres” during a discussion at the debate about immigration.

Amazon’s Alexa devices are part of a crop of virtual assistants that have taken the market by storm in recent years. Others include Apple’s Siri, which is now available on both mobile and desktop devices, and Google’s new Home product, which is available for pre-order.