407: Trusting our virtual assistants, and opinions on Twitter


Our virtual assistants aren't ready to give advice Do you talk to your smart speaker? Heather Suzanne Woods is an assistant professor of rhetoric and technology at Kansas State University. She's studied how humans use language to make sense of technological change and why people seem to have a relationship with their devices. Move over Dr. Google, Dr. Siri will see you now. People are getting used to using conversational agents like Amazon Alexa around the house. But what happens when people get medical advice from Siri or Alexa? Timothy Bickmore is a professor of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. He's been studying how conversational agents respond to medical questions. A new opinion in the social media echo chamber could close it even tighter Disrupting our social media echo chambers with an opposing view may seem like the best way to reduce political polarization. But sociologist Christopher Bail from Duke University found it can actually entrench people's views and opinions even more. What if you could see a filter bubble on social media? Imagine if you could visualize what political polarization looks like on Twitter?based on when influential accounts tweet about politics, how often, and who they follow. Camille Francois and John Kelly have done just that. They work for Graphika, a social media intelligence firm.

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