Innovation That Matters

Through app, kids ask questions about politics via text


Looking to engage young people with politics, Ask Amy is an app that uses artificial intelligence to provide kids with answers to their questions about the subject.

While general elections in the UK typically receive a moderate voter turnout — usually above 60 percent — there's still widespread disaffection with politics and voter numbers have been dropping since the 1950s. Young people especially aren't engaged by political activity in their region and learning about it isn't mandatory in schools. Now a new campaign in the country is looking to change this with Ask Amy, an app that uses artificial intelligence to provide kids with answers to their questions about politics.

Designed by the Tell Me About Politics campaign, Ask Amy is designed to look just like a messaging app such as WhatsApp, and users can send any message they like at any time of the day. Amy — who is powered by natural language processing and artificial intelligence — is able to make sense of the question or concern and deliver relevant and unbiased information in a friendly way. Rather than plain text messages, Amy is also capable of pulling up images, videos and even interactive content. For example, a young person could tell Amy that they don't see the difference between each of the parties they can vote for, and they'll receive a prompt to take a Buzzfeed-style quiz to determine which one best represents their views.

Watch the video below to learn more about the app:

Ask Amy is currently in prototype stage and has already been trialled among young voters. The Crowdfunder campaign aims to provide enough funding to improve the AI and add features such as tracking specific political issues and contacting local MPs and councillors. It runs until 17 October.

While the AI perhaps gives attention-bereft youngsters instant replies to their questions, could this kind of app benefit from using real people to provide more tailored advice to potential voters?




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