If you want to know where the Coronavirus epidemic is, you can listen to franceinfo but you can also ask your voice assistant. The most advanced in this area in France seems to be Amazon Alexa. We can ask him questions like: “Where is the coronavirus at?”, for the latest figures. Or : “Do I have the right to leave my home?”, for a reminder of the precise instructions. Or : “What are the symptoms of Covid-19?”. However, no answer on the sensitive question of chloroquine treatments.
Apple's Siri offers a diagnostic questionnaire, but only in the United States. The French version simply refers to the government site. Ditto for the Google assistant who is content, in its French version, to refer to different websites when asked about the epidemic.
Social networks, too, are a rich source of information but also an inexhaustible source of disinformation, through news (fake news). As a result, all platforms have strengthened their control over content, including the main one, Facebook, but also Twitter. The guideline is twofold: limit as much as possible the scope of disinformation messages and highlight the official websites.
The most difficult network to moderate is WhatsApp, because private groups (friends, family, work, etc.) are only accessible to participants. Our tech tip: only share reliable information from the media, and alert your loved ones if they themselves relay information that you know is questionable. Social networks are also widely used to share memes, photo montages or humorous videos, which help to see life a little more rosy in these times of confinement.
This overuse of social networks results in an overload of technical resources. Mark Zuckerberg said activity on WhatsApp was comparable to the first day of the year, double the usual. Platforms must therefore increase their IT capacities; but they also play the sobriety card. For example, Facebook has decided to lower the quality of its streaming video, to preserve both its servers and overall internet bandwidth.