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A lot of us made up our minds a long time ago. The choice for president between front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is between two very different people with very different visions of the United States.
But if you are still undecided or still have unanswered questions about two of the least popular presidential candidates in U.S. history, chatting with these bots can help you make a final decision.
1. An Alexa-powered fact-checker
The experimental Share the Facts Alexa skill was created by the Duke Reporters’ Lab at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It’s an extension of the Share the Facts project to pool fact-checking results from PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, and the Washington Post.
Once users have said, “Alexa, ask the fact-checkers” and started the skill, they can ask questions like “Did Donald Trump oppose the war in Iraq?” or “Is it true that Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes by a trillion dollars?”
The skill is updated whenever PolitiFact, The Washington Post, or FactCheck.org publishes a new fact-check and adds it to the database. So that generally means several times a day, if not more.
“The pace of political campaigns these days means you don’t want to wait to look things up later, and we hope this skill allows people to get answers right when they want them,” Share the Facts project manager Erica Ryan told VentureBeat in an email. “People have the Echo and other Amazon devices in their kitchens and living rooms, so this puts fact-checking right in the middle of their lives.”
In ratings of both candidates this election season, PolitiFact found 26 percent of statements by Clinton to be mostly false, false, or pants on fire, while 70 percent of statements by Trump were found to be mostly false, false, or pants on fire.
2. Ask Hillary and Donald
Created by AI startup SapientX, you can ask Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton questions on more than 100 topics related to the campaign, and the bot will respond with quotes from audio snippets drawn from public media.
Like the fact checker, updates are made regularly to AskHillaryandDonald.com to account for recent statements made by the candidates.
3. Twitter Gov
The Twitter Government bot can tell you more about local and national candidates and ballot measures, or help you find a polling place.
Wait, Twitter bots? Yup, last week Twitter launched its bots for Direct Message quick replies so businesses can use DM for customer service and sell products.
— Twitter Government (@gov) November 7, 2016
Before the public launch last week, the quick reply feature started with the Twitter Government bot in September and earlier in the year with businesses like Pizza Hut.
A voter registration tool was also provided this election season by Google, and Facebook’s voter registration reminder helped set historically high registration numbers in states like California and Indiana this fall.
4. Partisan bots
The Clinton tech team, which successfully attracted engineers and creatives from Silicon Valley tech giants, launched the day after the first and second presidential campaigns. One bot shares quotes by Donald Trump, the other focused on voter registration and how to find your polling place.
BFF Trump and Hello Vote, bots also made to register voters and send Trump quotes to young people, were launched this summer by Clinton campaign sympathizers or former Clinton campaign workers.
Despite these similarities, the Clinton campaign told VentureBeat all its bots were made in-house without the help of the makers of BFF Trump or Hello Vote.
5. Alexa election night questions
Once you vote and the results trickle in, this recently released Alexa skill can tell you who is leading and where.
On Election Day, you can ask questions about the presidential race, like who won or is projected to win in each district or state, as well as more detailed questions, like “Alexa, how many votes did Trump get in Ohio?” or “Alexa, what percent of the popular vote does Hillary have?”
6. New news bots
These bots won’t help you pick a presidential candidate, but several news organizations have launched bots for the first time ever this election season.
Mic, CNN, and Washington Post launched new bots at the Republican and Democratic national conventions this summer. Since then, Fox News, NYT Politics, and other publications have followed suit. Today, The Guardian launched its Facebook Messenger bot. Each of these bots can help keep you up-to-date on Election Day.
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