AI-driven audio news feed comes to Google Assistant

Gerald Bowen
December 9, 2018

But obviously news sources matter, and Google has teamed up with several global publications including The Hollywood Reporter, South China Morning Post, The Associated Press, and many others.

To help with this, the Google News Initiative provided funding to a number of news organisations, suchas KQED and McClatchy, to support building out more audio capabilities for the industry as a whole. The prototype relies on single-topic stories-segmented out from newscasts or shows-to contribute to the audio news feed.

Google has partnered withsome of the top news organisations and publishers to let people listen tocurated, customised and long-form news stories via its Google Assistant-enabledsmart home speakers. It'll also be smart enough to avoid repeating the same new stories you've already heard during the day.

Google is now searching the options they got for the future of audio news on Assistant with Google News and publications around the world.

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To improve and build out this audio news experience, we've built an open specification, available for news organizations that would like to participate. The briefing will start with short stories under two minutes, and then move on to slightly meatier stories up to 15 minutes long.

The project aims to transform audio news into a Netflix-like experience, available on demand with personalized recommendations. Each playlist is "assembled in the moment", according to Google, and users can get it merely by stating, "Hey Google, play the news".

Here is the content guidelines for this audio news format. But its usefulness will really depend on more publishers climbing aboard and Google's AI selecting stories you actually want to hear. The company is also inviting interested media publishers to join the project.

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