10:32 GMT +319 November 2018
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    Watchdog Warns Voice Assistants Pose Threat to Pluralism in News, Information

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    The growing marker of voice assistants poses a threat to the pluralism of news and information in the Internet, the Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres, RSF) said on Thursday.

    "Apps recognize the user’s voice and interact with it, orally delivering the result of an algorithmic operation designed to respond to the request. But there’s a problem. The intelligent assistant selects the news sources and limits the number of results, often to just one, using criteria that are still largely opaque," the RSF said in a statement.

    The wide usage of voice assistants may reinforce pay-based methods of media content distribution, according to head of RSF’s Journalism and Technology desk Elodie Vialle.

    "The development of voice assistants raises the question of guarantees for pluralism in news and information … By personalizing the distribution of news without leaving room for serendipity and diversity in what is made available, voice assistants are liable to reinforce the opaque and often pay-based methods of media content distribution that exist already," Vialle said, as quoted by the statement.

    According to Forbes’ estimations, 50 percent of all searches will be carried out via voice assistants by 2020. Another study says that by the end of 2018, a third of the US, Brazilian, Mexican, Indian and Chinese population will use voice assistants.

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    threat, news, technology, voice assistants, voice apps, Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
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