Siri Can Now Answer All of Your Election Questions
Siri can now answer questions about upcoming elections in the U.S. Apple’s voice assistant is applying information from Apple News to its database to supply answers for all kinds of political questions.
The new feature adds a variety of information sources to Siri, including reports on Apple News and public information sources. Siri can answer questions about who won different races or when upcoming elections are taking place. If the voice assistant is queried on an iPhone or another device with a screen, the answer will also come up in a visual form. The answers are accessed in real time, so on election night, a user could ask Siri about who is winning during the vote count, tracking results by county.
The Apple News reports come from a mix of sources across the political spectrum and any answers are sourced so that people can know who is reporting what they are hearing. Apple also has a special deal with ABC News to do real-time video broadcasts through a Siri request on election nights.
Siri is not alone as a voice assistant integrating news and political information into its features. Google integrated the Google News AI into Google Assistant back in 2018. The voice assistant makes an audio news playlist for users, tailored to their interests and location. Google Assistant can also answer the question of where to vote. Hours, address, and directions are all provided based on the user’s home address.
Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant started answering questions about political races right before the 2018 midterm elections. Nonprofit digital encyclopedia Ballotpedia worked with Amazon to get local ballot information, voter registration rules, and other information on Alexa. The Associated Press provided real-time updates results through Alexa, including graphics on Echo Show smart displays. Alexa is doing the same for the 2020 election but with even more news sources thanks to an arrangement with Reuters to bring its reports to Alexa.