Alumni News: Welcome LaBot!

November 16, 2017

Two Columbia alumni, both of them renowned local journalists, teamed-up with a third colleague to create the first Chilean news chatbot called Labot. This computer program interacts with her followers mostly through mobile phones, using two platforms -- Facebook Messenger and Telegram. During the first stage, LaBot is forwarding information on the two rounds of the political elections that will take place in Chile by the end of the year: November 19 (Presidential and Congressional) and December 17 (Presidential Run-off).

Many election laws have changed in the past few years, among them those that create new electoral districts, impose gender quotas, and put limits to funding. LaBot explains them to the voters so they have the tools they need to participate in the process. LaBot also analyses electoral data, including polls and donors’ lists.

LaBot was created by three Chilean journalists: Andrea Insunza (’13 MA, Columbia School of Journalism), Francisca Skoknic (’13 MPA, Columbia SIPA), and Paula Molina (’13 Nieman Fellow, Harvard University).

The platform was designed by the Spanish team of Politibot. She can be found as @robotlabot in Facebook, Telegram and Twitter. Her webpage is www.labot.cl

You can read the report on LaBot in Ya Magazine, here.