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Google Assistant gets AI driven audio news feed

09 December 2018

Google pitches the new system as a way to get quick, personalized news in audio form throughout the day.

"It starts with a briefing of top stories and updates on topics you care about, and extends into longer-form content that dives deeper into more stories". It's all based on your location and interests, but you can still tell Google to skip a story you don't want to hear.

"This new experience will bring you an audio news playlist assembled in that moment, for you", Google product manager Liz Gannes said in a blog post. But its usefulness will really depend on more publishers climbing aboard and Google's AI selecting stories you actually want to hear. Over the past year, the tech giant worked with publishersincluding CNBC, Hollywood Reporter, Washington Post and the South China MorningPost, building a prototype that brings the Artificial Intelligence (AI) ofGoogle News to the voice context of the Assistant.

Google Assistant remembers which stories the user has already received and will give updates on them at later times when applicable.

The initiative to personalise your news is open to publishers to offer their content via their open specification, allowing them to offer up "single-topic stories-segmented out from newscasts or shows" which can be intelligently added to people's news briefings in Assistant. The intention is that end users will be able to listen to news during their morning routines. Medium-format stories, on the other hand, can last from 2 to 15 minutes. At present, Audio News is scheduled to roll out to a limited number of English speaking Google Assistant users in the United States.

As result, expect the new audio experience to deliver shorter and punchier content, with less intro music, and for now, no ads.

Google Assistant gets AI driven audio news feed