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Amazon Echo Dot

Artificial intelligence certainly has benefits, but some say they could be outweighed by its drawbacks

Governing

Have a question about taxes, vehicle licensing or simply need the phone number for a state agency? If you live in Mississippi, just ask Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant that has been programmed to also work with state and local governments.

In fact, Mississippi is one of several governments that uses so-called chatbots to handle a range of basic but frequently asked questions. In Utah, teenagers can solicit help reviewing questions that might be on a driver’s test. In Los Angeles, residents can get detailed information about city-sponsored events. And Las Vegas’ digital assistant can answer queries about parks, upcoming elections and the status of building permits.

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