The Rhetoric of Political Leadership
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The Rhetoric of Political Leadership

Logic and Emotion in Public Discourse

Edited by Ofer Feldman

This timely book details the theoretical and practical elements of political rhetoric and their effects on the interactions between politicians and the public. Expert contributors explore the issues associated with political rhetoric from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including political science, linguistics, social psychology and communication studies. Chapters examine what makes a speech effective, politicians’ use of moral appeals in political advertising, political attacks on social media, and gender and emotion in political discourse.
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Chapter 13: Political discourse through artificial intelligence: parliamentary practices and public perceptions of chatbot communication in social media

Chen Sabag Ben-Porat and Sam Lehman-Wilzig


At present, there is mainly one intermediate group between parliamentarians and the public on social networks: Parliamentary Assistants (PAs). However, there is a new "intermediary" evolving on social media: chatbots. Through Israeli Knesset PA questionnaires and a public opinion survey we examine the use of chatbots in this parliamentary context – artificially-created discourse indiscernibly mimicking the parliamentarian’s message and style – focusing on how PAs and the public perceive the use of chatbots. From the PAs’ and the public’s standpoint, how will chatbots in social networks differ from human intermediaries and is this ethically appropriate? This comparison recasts the major theoretical question: can social networks be a tool providing a direct link between parliamentarians and the public? To that classic question we add: has this political communication relationship become less and less direct, with an intermediating human layer (PAs) – and soon with a nonhuman intermediary: the chatbot?

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