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MIB looks to tap into virtual assistant for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) is exploring the idea of using virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home through smart speakers like Echo to deliver live updates and news during 2019 general election. The department is currently running a pilot project, wherein it will be using Amazon’s Alexa to deliver live updates through Echo speakers during the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which is being held in Goa, between November, 20-28. 

A senior ministry official, said “We will be using Alexa to deliver updates about press conferences, special announcements, among others twice in the day, once in the morning, followed by an afternoon bulletin. The idea is to add more services such as delivering cabinet decisions, latest updates from other important ministries as we go forward,” on condition of being anonymous.  

At present the ministry plans to install a total of six speakers including Echo and Google Home including expansion of the service in other regional languages. Moreover, the ministry plans to expand the services into other virtual assistants such as Siri by Apple, among others. 

In September this year, All India Radio’s (AIR) Vividh Bharati and 14 other regional language services were launched on Amazon Alexa. 

According to industry analysts, in run-up-to-the general election 2019, digital is expected to play a greater role both in terms of dissemination of news and usage of the medium to drive viewpoints of people. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well the Congress is believed to have already begun to put in a strong digital team for the upcoming 2019 general election.

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