The Alexa skill called Share the Facts, is a spinoff of a widget used by fact-checking organizations. The widget enables readers to check out original source material and to share the facts via Facebook or Twitter. The Duke University Reporters’ Lab developed the Share the Facts skill after working with Google’s Jigsaw project to create the widget.
The Alexa skill responds to fact-checking questions with the most current consensus information by the launch partner organizations The Washington Post, PolitiFact, and FactCheck.org. You can check facts about statements made by Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and other candidates and politicians, as long as the participating organizations have already done the fact-checking.
To add the Share the Facts skill to your Echo device, open the Alexa app on your phone, select Skills from the navigation menu, search for Share the Facts, and when it comes up click Enable Skill. At that point, you are good to go.
To enlist Alexa’s help, say, “Alexa, ask the fact-checkers.” Each time you start a fact-checking session you will need to wait to hear Alexa say, “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,” then ask your question.
It is important to use major keywords when you ask your question and do not ramble on. You may find you need to ask a few different ways to get the answer, but the fact recognition is based on keywords, not grammar, although Duke Reporters’ Lab suggests using natural speech, not just blurting out keywords. Currently, Share the Facts responds from a database of about 2,000 facts the participating organizations have fact-checked. The app weighs responses by timeliness and consensus among the partner organizations.