Logic and Emotion in Public Discourse
Edited by Ofer Feldman
Chapter 13: Political discourse through artificial intelligence: parliamentary practices and public perceptions of chatbot communication in social media
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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